a mind of light

A mind of light

is a mind

that has fallen to its knees

before the Heart

and is open

to Silence breathing through it.

~ Ellen Davis

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Ellen has been teaching new paradigm ballet with a metaphysical approach for over 30 years.  She lived and taught at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in India. She is currently offering Whole Person Healing sessions and private satsang as well as teaching the yoga of ballet.  She has been writing books on the creative process and Living Eternity in Time.

www.ellendavis.org

rest your weary heart and mind

An extract from the page I added recently:
the great perfection

 

Simply rest in this transparent, nondual present awareness.

Make yourself at home in the natural state of pure presence, just being, not doing anything in particular.
Present awareness is empty, open, and luminous; not a concrete substance, yet not nothing.

Empty, yet it is perfectly cognizant, lucid, aware.

As if magically, not by causing it to be aware, but innately aware, awareness continuously functions.

These two sides of present awareness or Rigpa – its emptiness and its cognizance (lucidity) – are inseparable.

Emptiness and luminosity (knowing) are inseparable.

They are formless, as if nothing whatsoever, ungraspable, unborn, undying; yet spacious, vivid, buoyant.

Nothing whatsoever, yet Emaho!, everything is magically experienced.

Simply recognize this.
Look into the magical mirror of mind and appreciate this infinite magical display.

With constant, vigilant mindfulness, sustain this recognition of empty, open, brilliant awareness.
Cultivate nothing else.
There is nothing else to do, or to undo.
Let it remain naturally.

Don’t spoil it by manipulating, by controlling, by tampering with it, and worrying about whether you are right or wrong, or having a good meditation or a bad meditation.

Leave it as it is, and rest your weary heart and mind.

Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche


this unborn I

Wake up, you poets:
let echoes end,
and voices begin.

~ Antonio Machado

 

 

68

out of this singing silence
that lives the wondrous now,

that animates the ten thousand versions of this
and is never elsewhere than right here

a new, yet wholly familiar
Lifedrop
forms

it is not a person
not a being or an entity or an individual
yet all of these and all else as well

its quality is oceanic spaciousness:
this unborn I

– miriam louisa

echoes from emptiness


 

Photo: Alan Larus
the new spiritual art of the world


nothing could be easier

The simple, most utterly obvious and unavoidable state of Beingness is the very thing we imagine to be complex, hidden, and therefore needing to be sought via an infinite array of practices.

I came down a pathway which attempted to get at this simplicity by examining deeply and interminably the mental dynamics that sabotage one’s clear seeing/experiencing of It.

Perhaps it was a worthy pursuit – it was surely interesting and entertaining – but in terms of leading me closer to ‘It,’ it was a total waste of time.  It made no difference whatsoever to simple Beingness – which silently ‘watched’ the goings-on, immovable and changeless.

Eventually it all ground to a halt – the inquiry, the seeking, the fascination and the endless construction of concepts.  And there I was, right back AS I’d begun on Day 1, Breath 1:  Beingness – simple, obvious and unavoidable.

It is surely the most amazing and incomprehensible of things that turning away from the mind machine and embracing the inescapable Light of Being is so darned difficult for most of us.

Nothing – nothing – could be easier.  It is now!  It is this!  It is here!

~ miriam louisa

transparent, luminous stuff

The world is made only of seeing, hearing, touching, tasting and smelling.  Let us call these, perceiving.

Perceiving is made of mind and mind is made of Consciousness.

Consciousness has no colour of its own and as the world (that is, perceiving) is only made out of this colourless Presence, it is sometimes referred to as being transparent.

Consciousness is the light that illumines all experience and as there is no other substance to our experience of the world other than this luminous Consciousness, the world is known to be luminous, made out of the light of Knowing.

Consciousness illumines the apparent world and its light is also the substance of that which it illumines and knows. In other words, the Knowing of the world and the Existence of the world are made out of the same transparent, luminous stuff.

~ Rupert Spira

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Source: Rupert Spira’s website

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glad tidings of great joy

For the intrepid bunch of readers who find their way, now and then, to this blog  –  this little Christmas story is my gift to you, with love and gratitude.
 

 Mosaic of the Three Wise Men, Church of San Vitale, Ravenna, 1st Century AD

 

Once upon a time in the wondrous world of Mind there lived three powerful Kings.  (Yes, I know what you’re expecting – it being this time of year and all – but this is my story and I have artistic license to twist the tale.)  I’m calling these mad monarchs Me, Myself and Mine, and naturally enough, their respective Kingdoms bear the same names.  They enjoyed unchallenged rulership, and seldom warred with each other as they were too busy making sure their own realms stayed dysfunctional.

Now, although their names might elicit a negative response from those of us who are onto the mirage of the ME, they were actually very Wise Men, because they intuited that they were only actors in some weird kind of dream.  They sensed they were mere puppets and they wanted to know who or what the Dream Director might be.

After many bi-hemispheric conferences and neo-cortical dialogues the three Kings came to consensus.  They had inquired deeply and had found that whatever actions they performed – whether kindly or cruel – there was a clear, luminous Awareness present that never ever changed.  They found that it wasn’t possible to separate out from this Awareness in order to observe It, and that It could only be known by falling into It and being It.

They decided to call this Awareness the Great Light in the East (because, like the sun, it makes mincemeat of darkness).

Then the Kings made a pact:  they would take a journey together – they would experiment with this Great Light.  They would follow It simply by Being It, and see what might happen.

Well as everyone knows, it didn’t take long…

The Great Light of Being brought them to a place within themselves that was deliciously quiet, humble, and unadorned by thought.  We’ll call it the Heart, although in another version of this story it’s called a stable.

And as the Kings entered this inner chamber called Heart, they found – each in their own way – their Christ Child awaiting them:  unborn, unconditioned, unsullied, unchanging; the sweetest Love they had ever known.

And the Kings hopped off their hobbyhorses and fell upon their knees.  They offered their Kingdoms to the Innocent One:  Me, Myself and Mine.  And these gifts were more priceless to the Child than Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh, for as far as He was concerned, the gift beyond price was the Kings’ heart-felt humility.

No one really knows what happened to the three Kings after that, but in my story they went back to their Kingdoms with new names:  Awake, Aware and Alight.  And they brought glad tidings of great joy to their Kingdoms for ever and ever after.

– miriam louisa


Arise, shine: for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee…and the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising…all they from Seba and Sheba shall come: they shall bring gold and incense; and they shall shew forth praises of the Lord. (Isaiah 60:1-6).


avatars of the sage sex

Gratitude to Jerry Katz for this overview of emerging and established wideawake women.

A vanguard of self-schooled female mystics is doing an end-run around the mainstream self-help and New Age movements — and is advancing a radical, 21st century spirituality.  Call it the ‘Anti-Me Generation.’

Across the centuries, spiritual seekers have invariably been women and the teachers men; from Jesus to Gurdjieff and Rumi to Ramana Maharshi, enlightenment has been a male-dominated business.  But figures like Byron Katie are in the vanguard of an astonishing advent in the mystical tradition: she is a leading light in a scattered coterie of women who have propounded a radical, new esoteric spirituality and seem to have leap-frogged ahead of male counterparts in the pursuit of the sacred.

Their work, if you want to call it that, isn’t wholly cribbed from Indian gurus or apprenticeships in Asian monasteries, but forged in a homegrown fashion in the crucible of contemporary America – sometimes as a result of frustration with oriental traditions.  Alongside Katie, these self-schooled spiritual masters include . . . Oregon-based Catherine Ingram, Santa Fe’s Pamela Wilson, and Calgary, Alberta-based Karen McPhee.

These wise-women represent an implicit indictment of the legion of vendors from the human potential movement who appear on Oprah’s show, or who fill the pages of Common Ground.  Those services are New Age brands that explicitly pitch self-improvement, and promise to fill in the ego’s deficits.

But Byron Katie, Catherine Ingram and the Australian-born mystic, Isha, undermine the very notion of self-enhancement through spiritual seeking.  In fact, they take direct aim at the personality’s hegemony over reality, and advance a counter-intuitive proposition that the act of thinking itself is an inherently contaminating phenomenon.

The mind is a terrible thing to waste, the famous TV ad slogan from the ’70’s goes.  To the new female mystics, the mind is simply a terrible thing.

This ‘Anti-Me’ generation of teachers also resists branding particular counter-measures for the likes of anxiety, addictions, adultery and affairs.

“I’m reluctant to specify a goal or repetitive motion using some technique,” says Ingram.  “I see people identifying as the doer — ‘I sat for two hours without moving,’ ‘I’ve completed forty-five retreats,’ — proudly waving the banner of spiritual achievement as if that had anything to do with freedom.  These thoughts and concepts all cluster around one central belief—the belief in ‘me.’  This is the ridgepole for their entire illusory house of pain.”

That’s the difference between the new female mystics and, say, Deepak Chopra.  He goes on Oprah and tells people to meditate each morning.  Instead, these women would say: “First thing we do — let’s get rid of that word.”

A notable exception to the rule is Byron Katie, who calls her work, well, The Work.  But she’s the best example of a self-schooled female mystic.  For two years, Katie was so maniacally depressed she rarely got out of bed.  A mother of two boys and a teenaged girl in Bakersfield, CA and an alcoholic, she ended up in a local halfway house.

When Katie awoke one morning to find a cockroach crawling up her foot, she had an out-of-nowhere epiphany.  “All my rage, all the thoughts that had been troubling me, my whole world, was gone,” she recalls.  “The only thing that existed was awareness.  I was seeing without concepts, without thoughts or a story.  There was no me.  The foot and the cockroach weren’t outside me.  There was no outside or inside.”

During the two decades since that halfway-house psychic makeover, Katie … has drawn audiences in the thousands to lectures and workshops, offering others the same experience.  To both experts and lay people alike she appears to live in an elevated psychological state utterly free of internal conflict, akin to a yogi or a lama.  Katie herself claims that she does not even see herself as a spiritual person.

“I don’t know anything about that,” says Katie.  “I’m just someone who knows the difference between what hurts and what doesn’t.”

While Byron Katie has tried to codify her Work, her approach is still very much a common touchstone for the teachings of the new, self-styled prophets.  She uses thought to disarm itself through a sequence of deceptively simple questions.  Other approaches tend to elude language.

Pamela Wilson un-plugs people from the stories they tell about themselves by walking them through a series of shifts in somatic awareness.  She asks them to identify recurring situations or feelings where they feel stuck, and then focus on the bodily sensations they trigger.  When they are allowed to arise, and understood as tactile echoes of past events, they can be metabolized.

The process works kind of like a primordial mind-body algorithm.  “There’s no lack of brilliance in the design of either the body or the way it lets go,” says Wilson.  “The system of release is strange, almost reptilian.”  “What you’re doing is helping the body let go of the past,” continues Wilson.  “One of the ways the body creates release is by recreating something from the past in order to pull it out of the earth of the body.  Otherwise, it stays deep.”

One reason it is hard to codify some of the practices of post-modern mystics in words is because they’re more like signposts that point you toward a mental state that lies precisely beyond words.  How-to tips are superseded by a stronger path of transmission at the disposal of Pamela Wilson, Byron Katie and the others: the simple power of their personal presence.

The international followings of these women aren’t built on much else.  A Mother Theresa, by comparison, had an honorific in a powerful multi-national organization; these women have no organizations per se.  Neither do they bank on an MD’s shingle, like self-help gurus Wayne Dyer and Deepak Chopra (Katie worked as a real estate broker in her previous life, Ingram as a journalist).  Mystics by their nature don’t actively seek fame or fortune.

How, exactly, did these remarkable women emerge as “realized” beings in our data-infused, image-obsessed society?  Like Katie, most of them have reported a fundamental dissolution of a social or personal identity.  For Smadar de Lange, a rising star who represents the next generation of female mystics, it came after a traumatic motorcycle accident.

For Ingram, her meltdown came after the break-up of an engagement.  “I had had romantic obsessions since I was ten years old,” she says, “which I now see as a yearning for divinity because that is the realm in which I had most tasted divinity — that intoxicating dissolution of separation.  So this last painful ending was a grand culmination of that whole fantasy, and in that pain there was no place that I could be in peace except free and clear of a lot of thinking and ruminating about the story, the past, or the future . . .”

“It forced awareness into a kind of luminosity that had not been there.”

– Jerry Katz


Source:  The Nonduality Highlights, with some editing by yours truly.