The Buddha once told a story about a young man who was a trader and had a beautiful wife and baby son. Sadly, his wife fell ill and died, and the man poured all his love into his little child, who became the sole source of his happiness and joy.
Once while he went away on business, bandits raided his village, burned it to the ground and captured his five-year-old son. When he returned and saw the devastation, he was beside himself with grief. He found the charred corpse of a small child, and in his desperation, he took it for the body of his son. He tore at his hair and beat his chest, and wept uncontrollably. Continue reading
I often refer to tearing thoughts. These are thoughts that attack us, like “I am weak. I am worthless. I am no good. That-other person is better than I am”. Tearing thoughts are an extraordinary psychological phenomenon. When cells take the wrong path and start to attack the organ they live in, we call it cancer. Tearing thoughts are a kind of autoimmune failure of the mental body. Continue reading
Whatever its details, an outer loss is best understood as a surrogate for some inner relinquishment that must be made, but one that is difficult to describe. What it is time to let go of is not so much the relationship or the job itself, but rather the hopes, fears, dreams and beliefs that we have attached to them. If you let go only of the job or the relationship, you’ll just find another one and attach the same .hopes, fears, dreams and beliefs to it. And, on the other hand, you may find that you can let go of those inner attitudes without actually terminating the outer situation. Continue reading
….there is a capacity for wonder , and a gut level discomfort with bigotry – all of which are born of knowing that whatever life is about, it isn’t about blueprints, recipes or grand narratives…..
– Arundhathi Subramaniam from Pilgrim’s India
Questioner: We have a long history of drug-taking behind us, mostly drugs of the consciousness expanding variety. They gave us the experience of other states of consciousness, high and low, and also the conviction, that drugs are unreliable and, at best, transitory and, at worst, destructive of organism and personality. We are in search of better means for developing consciousness and transcendence. We want the fruits of our search to stay with us and enrich our lives, instead of turning to pale memories and helpless regrets. If by the spiritual we mean self-investigation and development, our purpose in coming to India is definitely spiritual. The happy hippy stage is behind us; we are serious now and on the move. We know there is reality to be found, but we do not know how to find and hold on to it. We need no convincing, only guidance. Can you help us?