When One meets an Enlightened Master

KA2_092-7167011-52055_650x250The inquiry that is held for a spiritual aspirant is one that is dealt with in complete honesty and based on the truth alone. This inquiry deepens as the insight settles and a new door to Existence is discovered, opened and one walks through it.

There comes a time when one has to truly evaluate on the progress one has made. If I am not going to evaluate, if I carry on blindly in the darkness, will Light every really enter my heart? The evaluation must also occur on a regular basis.

The path begins when one meets an Enlightened Master. In the East, we call them ‘Satguru’ which means the Teacher of Truth. It is in this very meeting that one realizes that the ego has been running the show and that now it is time to realize who the True Self is – it is an entity, an energy that is without form, without image, without an other. It is eternal and infinite. It is birthless and deathless. It is upon this discovery that the seeker finds themselves grateful for what the Enlightened Master has shown and begins to refine their being with this realization of their True Self.

There comes a time when one has to leave the Enlightened Master and in fact, it would be encouraged by the Enlightened Master that you should now walk alone as everything that could be given, every pointing that has been pointed to, every teaching that has been taught now rests in the space of your own self.

It is the moment of surrender when one leaves the Enlightened Master, grateful and with great respect, the seeker leaves and starts to unleash the potential of the Self within. This is the grace of the Enlightened Master. This is truly the purpose of the Enlightened Master.

If an Enlightened Master has accumulated followers that begin to feel they know everything, that they have the Truth then things stagnate. The birth of a new religion is there instead of a movement. Arrogance and dependency is born, along with it fear and anxiety.

Questions arise of life without the Enlightened Master. In fact, even to ask this question will create much dread. This brings about blind faith. The Enlightened Master has shown the way, now the apparent ‘seekers’ close the door, they build a gate, they build a wall so that you can’t escape.

In this moment, there is little the Enlightened Master can do. Escaping is an option, and the seekers that are true, that know that their wings are to be used, they understand that it is not the Messenger that is important, it is the Message. Once they realize this, they fly and along with it, the Enlightened Message follows.

The followers adore the Messenger, they do so out of their own ego. They build up an ‘us vs. them’ attitude, they begin to feel that the world doesn’t know the truth because they have got the Messenger. Little do they realize, that without the Message, the Messenger can do very little.

The Message lives in those that move beyond the convention of Master-Disciple and merge into the Oneness of Seeker-Enlightened Master-Formless Energy. This is the Holy Trinity. This is the Ultimate Peak in the spiritual process.

When the Enlightened Master leaves their body, do not fear. Do not lose hope. Go back to the Message. Go back to the Truth that was unveiled to you in the very first meeting. Begin to practice again. Re-awaken the drive to do the best you can in your spiritual journey.

One thing has to be understand, neither is the seeker perfect nor is the Enlightened Master perfect. Both are human and to be human is to have ‘flaws’. People term it as flaws but it is actually the personality of the individual. The inherent Spirit remains untouched and is fully embraced by the Message. The embodiment of the Message remains perfect.

The ego of a follower can do anything, it can turn the Greatest Being into a breathing Statue and begins to worship the body alone. The relationship between a true seeker and the Enlightened Master has to be based on development and personal tutelage. Without these two, can real spiritual growth occur?

Maybe an Enlightened Master has hundreds of thousands of followers but really they are only available for a few? An organization may be created out of this but it is those few that remain beyond the organization and their hearts become the beating heart of the Enlightened Master.

There are problems with having a Guru and there are benefits in having a Guru. Who knows if your Guru is a SatGuru. Many claim this title of ‘Satguru’ in the spiritual community. Maybe, it is a matter of faith. The way I see it, a Teacher of Truth (Satguru) shows you, your true being. They show you that you are the embodiment of God in the simplest way possible. Anyone that teaches you that there is a difference, even if it is subtle between you and God, or you and the Guru – then that Teacher is enforcing duality.

The fundamental question that I am posing here is whether it is good or bad to have a Guru or an Enlightened Master (Satguru)? I will say it is better to have one, grab the Message and FLY with it.

Wisdom and Experience

Faith has two wings. The first wing is wisdom and the second wing is experience. Once you learn how to fly then you begin to trust. You trust the open sky, the vast and boundless sky of awareness.

When our faith is dependent on the other, it relies on the other and that can become a bottleneck for trust, it can stifle growth and it can be expected that progress will be extremely slow or non-existent.

Wisdom may be attained from another person, book or experience. When you have this unveiled wisdom, it is incredibly important to use it and apply it to your day-to-day activities. Remember the wisdom at the back of your mind in the midst of activities and then in the front of your mind in the moments of silent contemplation.

Based on your own experiences, when you apply the wisdom into your life, you grow with each experience, you gather new insights and the teaching becomes transformative and grows your consciousness from a body to a boundless, formless entity.

When you learn to trust, then you do so unconditionally. You have a compassion that goes beyond the dualities of good and bad, right and wrong. It is a natural state to be in. Rightful action through selfless service brings wisdom into action.

When you begin to fly then silence is the way you respond. It sounds strange, words may follow but the base is silence. Going beyond silence is the next stage to this and this is done with deep contemplation, inquiry into the formless consciousness.

This is the path of devotion, you are alone, you are on your own, and nobody can take you to the next stage except yourself. All of Existence has given its grace and blessing and this will be the momentum that helps your wings soar in the sky.

A journey that is not of deep contemplation on the Formless Self, a journey that doesn’t encompass compassion and forgiveness is devoid of love. If you have love, then wisdom and experience will be full of devotion. Your consciousness will shine bright and you will be a home for those that are lost.

There are signposts and lighthouses on the way, give your highest regards to them for you all will speak a language that is unspoken and beyond silence itself. When you move away from the wings and enter into the formless expanse of the sky.

As you begin to dissolve away, you will experience a joy and bliss beyond anything one can ever experience in a form. The Formless in you can experience the form and it must be reminded that only the Formless can experience the Formless itself.

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Social Media will revolutionise our lives

social media iconWe live in a world that exercises the ego and wherever we look, whether it is our social media accounts or it is the world of advertisements, everything is telling us to strengthen the ego. It may not say it directly but the subtlety is there. You wonder whether you look good enough, or someone you know has gone on an awesome vacation and you are sitting at home, in your office or at the library studying. Other people’s lives look so much better from the world of momentary pictures.

The best way to make your life interesting is to be incredibly honest on social media. It is not about perfect moments, or perfect pictures and videos that should be shared. Wouldn’t it be cool to show that we are incredibly ordinary and that is what makes us special? Your car breaks down on a rainy day and you put this moment up on social media and yes, it shows that you are not having the greatest day but at the same time, you are showing your attitude and your outlook on life. This is what creates honesty and this brings people in.

Pain and happiness are wings on a bird. They will always be there and excess of one over the other would make life unbearable. Yes, a life only of happiness would make it unbearable! Gratitude is the body of the bird. Gratitude rises above pain and happiness. It is a state where there is stillness. Showing stillness on social media would be incredibly amazing. Imagine being angry, you put this up on social media and people may hate you for a moment but they fail to realise that they hide this on theirs. They aren’t hating you because you showed anger. They are hating you because you were honest and they can’t be. There will be some people who will see the anger and totally understand you, they may approach you on tips on how to rid yourself of anger in moments like you had experienced and this way, you have learned something new.

Learning never happens when we are full off ego. We may accumulate knowledge, which becomes intellect and rather stale. Learning happens with an open-mind and a mind ready to fly into intelligence and this is when you make incredible changes in your life.

What I am trying to say is that social media can be used in the best way to become a better person. Social media is going to revolutionise our lives and it is best to try and find ways in which it can empower us and transform our lives in a positive way.

RNS

Grief is not a sign of weakness

griefGrief is a very difficult aspect of the human nature to deal with. It is something I have struggled with and although you go through a cycle of pain, guilt, pain, guilt, there is a point where there is an acceptance that things will never be the same again. That is not a bad thing to accept, in fact it is this acceptance that moves things forward.

Love is definitely an emotion that we experience on a day to day level and love is one of the strongest emotions that we encounter too. It is emotion in which we are happy to lose ourselves into because it is beautiful to do so. It harmonises life and makes it a little sweeter otherwise the constant negativity in the world, would certainly limit our experience of love.

Faith defines the way we live our lives on a spiritual basis. For me, spirituality is everything and defines the very fabric of my existence. Take spirituality away from me and I wouldn’t understand what faith is. Faith is based on your own spirit. It is purely based on the individual and the focus and attention they place on spiritual awareness and virtues. Faith is the building blocks for trust and when trust enters the spiritual journey of an aspirant, it takes the human experience to an enlightened stage. It is very rare to see someone trust life and trust existence but if you know someone who does that and you learn from them, they become an inspiration for you for the rest of your life.

My faith and love turned into trust when I met my Guru for the first time. Mind you, I met my Guru many times before that but it wasn’t as special. It was special but not of the same quality as when I met Him with trust. Once that occurred, nothing else really mattered. I knew from thereon that my spiritual journey would take me to new heights. Why would I want to go through the heights of spirituality? There is fear that I may lose ambition or I may not want to live a ‘normal’ life but I am living a ‘normal’ life (I am married and if life wishes, I will have kids too), I work and I eat, drink coffee but yes, there is a difference – I live each moment with the awareness of the Truth – that I am part of this Formless Reality. Sometimes, I do forget and I get tangled into my roles but I remind myself that these roles are not me and will never be me.

One day, my love and faith met with their friend grief. This took my trust to a new level and a new height. Now, my trust didn’t belong to a body but was now part of the whole cosmos and beyond – formless, shapeless and boundless – full of compassion and bliss. The difficult part was accepting that the body was no longer there. Mind you, people think that talking about your grief, talking about losing a loved one, being emotional is a sign of weakness and this is not right. Showing your emotions is not a sign of weakness and has to be understood as a sign of strength and recovery. You see, my relationship with my Guru was going through a new phase and as much as I love the old phase, it felt like I was on a search again. Maybe this is the beauty of grief, that you go on the search to find your Beloved again and this time – all human states and emotions are to be used.

I know some friends that are in the same boat as me and I want to let you know that you are strong and it doesn’t matter who you have lost, every loss you have faced has its own importance. Do not let anyone make you believe that your faith is weak or not strong enough. You are going the way life wants you to go. Each step of your life will strengthen you as you begin to take the relationship you had to a new level. Grief will empower you in ways that nobody can assume. Let me remind you that even enlightened beings were devestated when their Masters left them – look at Rumi and Shams. Let this settle with you.

It is tough writing this and I want you to know that there are others on the journey with you.

RNS

5 simple ways to kickstart your spiritual journey after the New Year resolutions fail

I am sure you have been at a point where you are all geared for the New Year, you are ready to make some changes but then life just comes in between and old habits resurface as if they were waiting for you to fail. That is human nature. We have to be extremely committed if we want change. So I thought what would be the 5 ways that we could kickstart our spiritual journey after being knocked down for not committing to our New Year resolutions. Try out one of these and let me know how you do.

  1. Volunteer

It sounds simple but volunteering can go a long way. In Sanskrit, it is called seva, and it loosely translates as selfless service. Serving others in a capacity where you do not feel you need anything back is one of the best feelings you can feel. If you can serve others in your home, at work or anywhere with a sense of non-doership, you will find the feeling is enriching. Life is all about what we give to others, not just about what we do for ourselves. This way our spiritual journey is enriched beyond the limited perception of serving our individual self only.

  1. Write a journal

The best way to know yourself and your thoughts is extremely important. To understand your ego, your prejudices and judgments is needed to progress spiritually. You need to know the scale of the problem. Before I started writing, I would say I had a very strong ego with strong and unfair prejudices. After writing, I realized how fragile and silly my ego and prejudices were. It made me a lot less judgmental. Knowing yourself is an important tool in spirituality. By asking yourself ‘Who am I?’ and diving deep into this inquiry provides some incredible insights.

  1. Striking up a spiritual conversation

This really depends on who you chill with and all I know for certain is that when I feel low, I speak to people who are spiritually more advanced than me and seek their help. These conversations and discussions enrich your own understanding and sometimes that one conversation is needed to take your spiritual journey to the next level. There is enough talk out there about how to make more money, how to be a better influencer but very little conversations are about knowing who you truly are and becoming a better human being. A conversation enriched with wisdom will definitely be that kickstarter that you need.

  1. Reading mystical poetry or spiritual scriptures

I am a big fan of reading the poetry of Rumi or Kabir. Even more so, I really enjoy reading the ancient texts like The Upanishads, Ashtavakra Gita, Bhagavad Gita or the Tao Te Ching. Reading clears your mind and when you look at a line and think about it, you are given new perspectives from your own self. We never trust our intuition and this type of reading can really take your spiritual journey to a whole new level. You have a lot of wisdom within you and when you read the experiences and findings from the greatest of minds, you start to understand your own spiritual experiences.

  1. Meditation

I have left this as the last one but it is the one that I enjoy the most. Meditation has been part of a lot of scientific studies and numerous findings have been discovered. This ancient practice that connects our mind, body and spirit is really a lifesaver. Whether you observe your breath, empty your mind or chant a mantra or any meditation that you like, they all bring you to a sense of calm and peace. In your day to day life, whether it is studying for your educational pursuits or working for your career pursuits, you have to take some time out to be with yourself and connect to a place which is free from the worldly worries and stresses. Meditation, as well as being good for your mind, it helps your spiritual journey take leaps and bounds forward. Meditation in the real sense of a spiritual practice is something that you do at all times and not necessarily just a morning or evening practice. For now, having a fixed time is enough to bring you the contentment that you need to kickstart that spiritual journey.

Writing Poetry and can I find my voice again?

Overworked exhausted businessman writes with a typewriter

I have been struggling since May 2016 to find my voice again in poetry. I don’t know where to go and what to look at. It isn’t that I have stopped writing poetry, some that has been written is great, some have not met my standard of great but the main thing for me has been trying to be relevant and whether I still am relevant to my own self.

I know grief hits us in many ways and certainly the mourning of my Beloved Teacher has taken its toll on me and despite writing poetry about this, it still hasn’t formed itself into a book. I wanted to write a poetry book about the mourning and grief that I have gone through but somehow it hasn’t found it’s form yet.

Despite starting projects for a new poem book, around 3 to be honest with you, they still haven’t met the requirement to become a book yet. I guess the whole point of writing this blog today is to ask myself if I am still serious about writing poetry or did I lose that touch in May 2016?

My issue is my capability to explain my internal feelings and to make it relatable to the reader. The direct way to see this is through social media. I do find that what I love talking about is of a truth that is inexpressible and can be totally unrelatable unless one has experienced it themselves. The question for me is how to make an unrelatable experience into something that can be applied to everyday problems and experiences. It is not that it can’t be, the question is why am I not challenging myself to do this?

Ultimately, I have to accept my failure in not being able to achieve what I wanted. I have let circumstances get the better of me and maybe I ought to let it define me instead. I don’t know if I have steered away from really inquiring into my day-to-day life and observing life minutely. Have I entered the trap of just living on autopilot? Am I now out of fear just simply lazy? It is not easy for me to admit this and I have really struggled to state this.

Somewhere within me, the writer is wandering around – lost but still observant and alert. Can I bring that writer back on track? I don’t know. I guess this is my way of saying that I am back to square one and I don’t have the same confidence that I had before. I don’t have the voice that I had before and I am not accepting the voice that I have now. A writer in conflict is truly a writer in denial of his or her own talent. When a writer denies his or her own talent then fear cripples any effort to move forward.

The question that I have now is whether the writer in me is willing to continue or do I accept defeat?

The Seeker must become the Mystic

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Wisdom has set me on fire,
There is nothing to discriminate,
There is no other,
But the One True Self.

Wisdom is one thing; the practical side is totally another ball game. In the life of a mystic, there are two journeys. One is seeking the Truth itself and the other one is action or application of the Truth.

The seeker goes out searching for the Truth. They do not know if they will achieve anything. Will they achieve liberation? Will they see God? Is there a God? All these are unanswered questions and the seeker is comfortable with these doubts. The seeker moving towards becoming a mystic is fully aware that the questions are not real. They don’t need answers because they are distractions towards the Truth. The Truth doesn’t need to answer any questions. If we do not accept the Truth then there are two reasons. One is that we have not accepted the Truth and the second, which regardless of the first reason is more important, and that is whether we have applied this Truth to our daily lives.

The Seeker goes out and with all of their life, with their every breath, with every bit of their energy they need the Truth. When they meet the One – the Master, the Guru, the seeker receives the Divine Wisdom, known as Brahm Gyan from the Guru and life is transformed if the awakening occurs. The Seeker now has the knowledge, what next? The application must be there. The Seeker must see the knowledge, the wisdom in every aspect of life. In nature, in nurture, in essence, it should see through the eyes of wisdom and then the Mystic is born. Every action carries the dust of the Truth so that whenever another seeker wants the Truth, it should follow the trail of dust that the Mystic leaves behind.

When the awakening has occurred, the Mystic, like their Guru will be someone who has patience for one and all, they go beyond their labels – their nationality, race and religion. They move beyond boundaries. They have compassion for everyone because they see the same Light within them in others. They do not discriminate, like the Sun doesn’t discriminate on what it give its Light to. The Mystic, like their Guru understands the importance of forgiveness. That means forgiveness of one’s own mistakes and the large-heartedness to forgive others. Who are we to judge on the severity of a certain mistake or mishap that someone has made directly or indirectly towards us. The Mystic is an example, and the Light that shines from them is because of the wisdom they received from their Guru.

If the Light that we shine differentiates and judges then is it the Light of God or Truth? Are we following the words of the Guru, if we are using our own mind over the Guru’s teachings? Have we truly accepted the Guru? If the seeker discriminates and judges then the question goes on whether the seeker truly feels that the Guru is someone worth following. If the Guru doesn’t judge but has compassion for all, then isn’t that the natural course of action for the seeker? The Mystic has to follow the Guru but the seeker has a choice. The seeker is at a crossroad, it can either choose to follow the Guru’s way or it can abandon the ship and carrying on searching. Therefore, the seeker can never claim to be a disciple of a Guru until they surrender their mind to the Guru and whoever surrenders understands the Guru and becomes a Mystic. This is the grace and blessing of the Spiritual Master.

This Light, this Wisdom, this God that is revealed by the Master is only for those that want to become mystics, who want to have union with the One. The One that has created everything is the manifest and the unmanifest. The One that has no end, no beginning and is self-existent. This One, which is the Truth, which is consciousness, awareness and bliss. This is the way of life for the Mystic.

The Mystic never wants to let go of the Guru’s path and everything for the Mystic is about being as the Guru so wishes. If the Guru says to love everyone, then love everyone it is. If the Guru says to be compassionate, then compassion it is. If the Guru says forgive under any circumstance, then forgiveness it is. The Guru has the final and only say in the Mystic’s life. The seeker will pick and choose whatever is said but will do whatever their mind says. The Mystic understands the Guru’s actions, whilst a seeker can misunderstand it.

The evolution of the seeker has to occur. The Mystic must be born and this is where having a Master is necessary or makes it easier. The Master will show you the way, they will be the example and they will liberate you from this earth. No longer will you be confined in the body and mind, you will become the vastness of this One. When the Mystic is born, this world becomes more beautiful. The beauty of the One can only be understood by those in the mystic tradition and the Guru has defined this tradition.

To move forward in one’s awakening, to truly feel free and liberated, the seeker must become the Mystic.