Ramesh S. Balsekar (May 25, 1917 – September 27, 2009) was a disciple of the late Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, a renowned Advaita master. From early childhood, Balsekar was drawn to Advaita, a nondual teaching, particularly the teachings of Ramana Maharshi and Wei Wu Wei. He wrote more than 20 books, was president of the Bank of India, and received guests daily in his home in Mumbai until shortly before his death.Balsekar taught from the tradition of Advaita Vedanta nondualism. His teaching begins with the idea of an ultimate Source, Brahman, from which creation arises. Once creation has arisen, the world and life operate mechanistically according to both Divine and natural laws. While people believe that they are actually doing things and making choices, free will is in fact an illusion. All that happens is caused by this one source, and the actual identity of this source is pure Consciousness, which is incapable of choosing or doing.This false identity which revolves around the idea that "I am the body" or "I am the doer" keeps one from seeing that one's actual identity is free Consciousness. Like other Vedanta teachers, he says that while creation and creator appear to be different and separate, that they are actually two sides of the same coin.Balsekar taught that life is a happening but there is no individual doer of life.Continue Reading
Ram Dass guides a soma (divine nectar) meditation, focusing on drawing the living spirit in through the breath and body – and releasing the stuff in you that is keeping you from being with the universe: fears, negativity, doubt, inadequacy, anger, loneliness…replenishing your body with healing energy. Release the things you don’t need in order to be in the spirit.
As told by Sri Anandamayi MaA precious necklace was seen flashing from the bottom of a lake. Many felt tempted to recover the valuable ornament and dived deep into the water for it, but found no necklace anywhere. Yet it was clearly visible to everyone from the edge of the lake. They were all puzzled. Eventually they realized that there was no necklace at the bottom of the lake; what they saw was its reflection in the water. They looked up and discovered the precious ornament hanging from a tree. A bird must have picked it up from somewhere and deposited it there.God who dwells within you is the source of true happiness. In the objects of the senses this happiness is merely reflected. The individual, misled by birth after birth by having only a glimpse of this reflected joy, thinks that this is the real thing, namely sensuous delight. So long as one believes that true happiness can be had in sense objects without searching within, one will never taste true happiness. The kingdom of God, hence of happiness, is within you.
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A Parable by Ramana MaharshiTen foolish men forded a stream and on reaching the other shore wanted to make sure that all of them had in fact safely crossed the stream. One of the ten began to count, but while counting the others left himself out. ‘I see only nine; sure enough, we have lost one. Who can it be?’ he said. ‘Did you count correctly?’ asked another, and did the counting himself. But he too counted only nine.One after the other each of the ten counted only nine, missing himself. ‘We are only nine’, they all agreed, ‘but who is the missing one?’ they asked themselves. Every effort they made to discover the ‘missing’ individual failed. ‘Whoever he is that is drowned’, said the most sentimental of the ten fools, ‘we have lost him.’ So saying he burst into tears, and the others followed suit.Seeing them weeping on the river bank, a sympathetic wayfarer enquired about the cause. They related what had happened and said that even after counting themselves several times they could find no more than nine. On hearing the story, but seeing all the ten before him, the wayfarer guessed what had happened. In order to make them know for themselves they were really ten, that all of them had survived the crossing, he told them, ‘Let each of you count for himself but one after the other serially, one, two, three and so on, while I shall give you each a blow so that all of you may be sure of having been included in the count, and included only once. The tenth missing man will then be found.’ Hearing this they rejoiced at the prospect of finding their ‘lost’ comrade and accepted the method suggested by the wayfarer. While the kind wayfarer gave a blow to each of the ten in turn, he that got the blow counted himself aloud. ‘Ten,’ said the last man as he got the last blow in his turn. Bewildered they looked at one another, ‘We are ten,’ they said with one voice and thanked the wayfarer for having removed their grief. That is the parable.From where was the tenth man brought in? Was he ever lost? By knowing that he had been there all the while, did they learn anything new? The cause of their grief was not the real loss of anyone, it was their own ignorance, or rather, their mere supposition that one of them was lost. Such is the case with you. Truly there is no cause for you to be miserable and unhappy. You yourself impose limitations on your true nature of infinite being, and then weep that you are but a finite creature. Then you take up this or that spiritual practice to transcend the non-existent limitations. But if your spiritual practice itself assumes the existence of the limitations, how can it help you to transcend them? Hence I say know that you are really the infinite pure being, the Self. You are always that Self and nothing but that Self. Therefore, you can never be really ignorant of the Self. Your ignorance is merely an imaginary ignorance, like the ignorance of the ten fools about the lost tenth man. It is this ignorance that caused them grief.
by David SilverAbsolutely essential Pema Chodron quote: "Always meditate on whatever provokes resentment."Synchronistically, I read this last night when I accidentally hit on Fox News for a nanosecond and horrible animosity welled up in my mind, quelling my heart and telling my compassion component to get lost. How in the name of Buddha, Krishna and Lennon do you remain at peace when you see a news report enjoying the Trayvon/Zimmerman verdict and applauding the appalling 'stand your ground' law in flawed Florida?Well, it ain't easy. It just deracinates your sense of justice and your aspiration for loving kindness when you are aware of such cold heartedness and lack of clarity. Rachel Maddow said that there are two kinds of people in this world - those who care and those who don't. Anger arises so swiftly when you witness lack of empathy for the suffering. The only thing is to remember, like Pema suggests, that fighting fire with worse inner fire only keeps the stupid situation going on and on forever, until the world is led by the raging blind and your heart is consumed by your own enraged reaction. The only way anything is going to change - within you and without you as George Harrison-ji put it - is when you flood the bad emotion with the always available actuality of forgiveness on the inner plane.THIS DOES NOT MEAN YOU DO NOT ACT. It simply means that you go deeper and radiate and be activist without being an asshole. His Holiness The Dalai Lama is our current best exemplar of this. The Chinese have stolen his country, mass murdered his people and ruined Tibetan culture in the name of an ideology which has enveloped egalitarianism with cruel repression and oppression. And yet the monk smiles and spreads peaceful awareness without rancor. But he never stops militating for a solution. He doesn't even ask for Tibetan independence - just fairness and radical political change. He's no passive acceptor. He simply knows via his practiced wisdom that angry, violent response simply does not work and we have to dig deeper and look long term. It's supremely difficult, but we have to do it.Yeah, I often scream at the TV - not only at the injustice and war-filled machine of society but at the hateful, coarse programming itself. But I have to sit still and stop it because it only grows the vileness within me and continues the problem. It's a huge effort...but we have no choice if we want a better world, a better self. Have a great day...
"The process is realizing that you and I exist on more than one plane of awareness simultaneously and on one plane suffering stinks, and on another plane suffering is grace.The question is, can you balance those two things in your consciousness?"You can purchase this talk as an MP3 playlist to help support the Love Serve Remember Foundation or stream for free.Image Credit: Nicholas Roerich