Holding the Earth

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I feel so privileged to be here at Monument Valley staying in a Navajo Hotel called ‘The View.’ These ‘monuments-butte,’ free-standing rock formations, appeared about 570 million years ago. This was once the ocean floor and the mantle of the Earth uplifted in these strange forms known as ‘The Mittens’ to crack it. Later the ocean subsided west during the shifting of the tectonic plates: the resultant mud became sandstone and limestone.

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Such an ancient scenario to suddenly arrive in, but arriving creates such a connection with my Earth! I am One with it! I am sandstone and limestone: the desert paints me in rainbow colours against the gigantic Moon.

 

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This is my Earth! I am inspired to become its custodian once more, to hold it and look upon it with complete awe! Only putting aside the synthetic reality created by my limited mind will allow this to be.

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Images by Linden Thorp.

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Avoid desires to be touched by the divine.

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It is our countless nagging desires that keep us separated from happiness, from the great truth. But there are 2 principal desires: the first is to avoid death; the second is to avoid living fully.

The intellectual mind conjures up such desires as a distraction from the free flow of our energy.  Our divine origins have led us to the manifestation of our unique energy in the world of form, and from that moment on we must undergo a huge battery of tests until the for we are tenants in deteriorates and vanishes like dust in the air.   The tests are mostly about attachment.

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Our energy flows.  It must do because the prime reason for the existence of energy is movement. But we have bounded that energy in a human form and we must carry the weight of thousands of years of conditioning, of the desires of our nation, our community, our family and our ancestors. Most people under such weight abdicate responsibility for their energy, and even forget it completely.

Can we sustain the weight while also keeping the flow of our energy and life force moving.  Or will we become static and passive, and start to live a lie, ignoring our most basic energic urges?

If we can detach form the forms and material temptations, and allow our selves to flow naturally, then there are no fears, no negativities.  Just a vital pulsing river of all life.  This is the glory of our human consciousness.

Energy is the only thing we possess.  It is dynamic is we allow it to be.

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images courtesy of megapixyi.com

Divine Thread: from the gallery

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Most of us live in a world in which the past dominates us. It seems to have such a strong influence, magnetizing us to always look into another time and making comparisons with the present. It is as if we sit in a high gallery strapped into a chair, our necks braced into position forcing us to look down on a dream which we are taught makes our reality. However, this is true conditioning, a kind of indoctrination.

The past is not in any way dynamic because it is produced by the mind as something which we amount to, something we can either regret or revel in. But above all, it is something we know, especially our personal past. We are separate from it but we can look at it whenever we like – the subject and the object.

 

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In fact, this manmade concept of ‘time’ has been created exactly because of our doubts and fears of the unknown. Time is a synthetic reality in which we can create many desires and then go about realizing them. But such activity is only a distraction from the reality of the unknown. To find true liberation we must embrace what is unknown courageously.

Desires are eternally repetitious in the dream of the past and projected into the dream of the future. The pattern is always the same, circular, a circle which keeps us captive. And the mind just goes on creating this pattern and ingraining it so we can live blindfolded, effortlessly. So that we feel safe because we think we know!

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After thousands of repetitions, particular experiences become more and more weighty, artificially significant. Then, ‘reality’ seems so convincingly real that we relegate everything else to the realm of dreams.

However, if we are living on auto-pilot, repeating everything, again and again, we are not in any way aware. Dynamism only comes into play when our full awareness is activated. Most of us prefer to be deeply asleep with auto-pilot engaged to the inconvenience of awareness. Why not allow the mind to work automatically, taking over every moment of our existence so that we can sleep.

If we sleep, we will never know Oneness with the Universe. We will never know the vast field of consciousness and the joy of each moment of the unknown. Wee will never embody the creature we are, stepping into every moment for the very first time.

We will never ‘know’ that we are composed of pure energy and that the only thing that energy does is to move eternally, flowing on in the wide river of all life.

 

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One day, someone told me that they owed me an apology. I was surprised saying that I was unaware of any mistake or offence they had created. They tried to apologize again. My response was that I would tell the person they offended when I met them and that it was not me because I am in no way the same even from moment to moment, let alone from day to day.

 

 

Images courtesy of Megapixl.com: see licenses at lindenthorp@gmail.com

To read more about ‘going beyond all dualities,’ our Divine Thread, and Oneness, please visit my web site at http://www.divinethread.wordpress.com

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Somnambulation: how many seconds can we really stay awake?

Most of us spend most of our lives asleep!  We fall into routines often by choice exactly so that we can sleep. We walk down a busy road in a dream staring into the wide-open sleeping eyes of passersby. We try to get our obligations fulfilled, our daily chores and duties finished quickly so that we can get back to sleep. We let most of our lives fritter away while sleeping.

You may be able to stay fully awake for a few seconds while something takes your attention, for example, the incredible curves, points and texture of these ice mountains, but then you drift off into your slumbers again.  And increasingly, it is only the visually sensational that holds your attention, so we are completely unaware of so many other invisible dimensions. 

If you close your physical eyes and hold back the constant stream of images and words which flood by, then perhaps you can count 3 or 4 of your own breaths before you are distracted again by the flooding. But this place of stillness and near-silence is REALITY! – the place where your spiritual eyes open wide. 

It is remarkable that human beings so rarely directly experience the full force of our natural and intended condition.


So, please remember to wake up for tiny periods during the day ahead. Take a moment to count your breaths deepening them as you go, or close you eyes and count from 1 to 10 without being distracted. This wide silent focus is reality, is being fully human! It is being entirely integrated and not separate from the Universe!

For me, this reality is heaven! And I go there whenever I can.

          

                                                       

                                                                        TRUE NATURE : Our Supreme Inhertance


Temple Chronicle: 21st February

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Our human lives are a process, a means whereby, but what is the result, the end-product? Our story began with the moment of birth and it will end with the moment of death. Between these two points our physical form develops and matures, and then as its season draws to a close, it starts to shrink and slow. We, our spirits, are temporarily housed in a flesh form to participate in the visual material world which is subject to varied and numerous conditions. It is logical then that the conditioned mind expects results from the progress through the years of our lifespan.

Religions use certain terms for this end-product, this resolution of the years and the effort – Heaven or Hell, Nirvana, Enlightenment, Paradise, Zion, Avalon, Swarga, Valhalla, and so on. But words and images die the moment they appear or are uttered or thought. ‘Birth’ and ‘Death’ are also only words, but we identify ourselves with them – ‘my birth,’ ‘his death,’ and so on, and once again they are dead, in the past, dropped like a heavy stone into a deep pool.

Without using any special labels or grand proper nouns, we have always flowed in the vast wide river of all energy, and we always will. Energy is vibration and light which is subject to no conditions, not even human’s facile ‘time’ or ‘space.’ It goes where it will dependent on nothing, consuming the darkness, flowing and flowing. There are no rewards or results in any dimension except the joy of being and loving with company in our human boats, and breathing in concert.

The conditions throw up obstacles in the way of our flow which create detours, sluggish pools, and rapids. The build up of the heat of negative emotions and violence acted out in the form world, the jarring of separations and limitations, the tattering and fraying of the fabric of the universe at our human hands, causes drought and the flow dwindles to a trickle, or floods which extinguish the divine flame of the flow.

Can you desist from throwing obstacles into the flow now and here? Can you give up your addiction to collecting, to hoarding, to getting and spending, to violent acts of separation from your fellows? Can you say you will no longer depend on creating parallel worlds in your mind with words and images so that you can just flow and flow, laughing and loving? Slap bang in the centre of this moment and in no place in particular, can you accept that there is nothing you have to do except be, and in your full being the flow flows without end?

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Temple Chronicle: 8th February

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The field of energy humans inhabit is not as it appears to diverse human eyes. The arts give expression to the vast differences in individual views: today, the disparate imaginations of around 7.4 billion are at work every moment. These local energies are surely not separated by skin and skeletons though the logical brain insists they are. Therefore, if we close our eyes and our mind’s relentless analysis and classification, our energies merge into one fabulous multi-faceted diamond. Such a gem can illuminate every dark corner of the universe with divine light, purging away all the accumulated impurities.

Our sensitivity to each other has been deadened as the eyes have gained the monopoly on the material world. Progress and civilization have gradually removed the necessity of using the spiritual eyes and along with it unconditional looking. But we can once again use our ancient tools of divination and healing by cleaning away the accumulated detritus on our diamond facets. Our suffering, our conflicts, and doubts, are the grinding wheel that will remove the layers. The masters invite us to accept and embrace our adversity so that we can uncover our true nature, our Buddha nature, and cut away all our negative karma.

Light exists without conditions. We humans are beings of light in our divine form, and light is love and goodness. It needs the darkness and evil so our deteriorated and diluted essence can apprehend it.

So let your light flow to consume the darkness so that everyone can see with their spiritual eyes.

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Temple Chronicle: 5th February

 

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The objective of all Buddhist training, of any spiritual training, is to first become a better, happier person, and then to look after other sentient beings, developing unwavering respect and compassion in that pursuit. The majority of humans aspire to ascend and so get clarity on themselves and their place in the world. They have deliberately sought a method of getting control of their negative emotions so that they can allow their natural goodness to prevail at every moment.

According to the Buddha, we are each a stupa, a shining tower to house the essence of the Great Truth (Tathata {Skt} Shinnyo {Jpn}), but the divine can only work in us when we are empty of delusions, self-serving desires and attachments. There are numerous ways we can ‘practice’ to realize this emptiness, but there is a danger that we ‘practice’ with ego, becoming attached to the practices themselves, forcing and striving to achieve these states. The word ‘practice’ is unfortunate in many ways because it implies imperfection, apprenticeship, and an impending performance. However, immediate realisations are numerous in the same way that performances can be spontaneous and their performers unknown.

This struggling against the current of the natural, this shouldering and manipulation and grasping by religious means, is perhaps burying our true nature even more deeply. Aspirants in Japan must start from scratch in terms of their faith, so are often initially benefit seekers, believing that they can acquire protection and benefit from the deities. These expectations are ingrained in the popular Shinto practices, and the line between Shintoism and Buddhism is quite blurred. So, they often barge into zealous practice, giving it their best for a probation time, and then, if they are not happier, wealthier and wiser, they may go on to try some other faith path.  These tactics often come from fear and superstition in my experience.

It is interesting and at the same time quite shocking that human beings often long to wipe clean the slate of their beings, to erase everything so that they can be reborn, totally transformed. Many of us view our thinking as flawed so we block it, hide it away; we experience a frisson of guilt at having such thoughts and then bury them, perhaps forever. We have rendered thoughts permanent and visible as everything and everyone else is. But it is possible to just let our thoughts appear, let them surface as detritus or debris in water. We do not need to condemn ourselves for having so-called bad thoughts, in the same way as we do not applaud ourselves for having so-called good thoughts. Thoughts are epehemera.

It is impossible to wipe the slate of our human existence and our spirit entirely clean, unless we synthesize amnesia or undergo brain-washing. Instead, we can adapt and accept – making the effort to free the flow of the water of our life. We humans are essentially beings of light, formless tennants. Water is similarly formless; in its natural state it flows wherever it wants to, wherever it can. Sometimes over-zealous practice can freeze that flow, fixing our nature into a glacier. Emptiness is the free flow of our waters, which are healing and cleansing, refreshing and exuberant.

Once we did not need to make an effort to keep our divine flame alight by spiritual practice. We were truly living out our original nature, flowing freely, merging with the fluid natures of those around us in loving harmony. Then, we learned to utilize the intellectual mind to interfere in this natural process, and our blindness began, leading us to go our own egocentric way towards the secular and personal power.

We may meditate, we may reflect, we may take empowerments and initiations, we may doggedly follow the letter of our teacher’s advice, but we must not lose sight of the truth, the suchness, which is deep inside ourselves, inside our unique stupa. We must not rule out the possibility that our ancestors were divine beings who handed on their divinity through the generations to us, and that in simply being, sitting with ourselves exactly as we are, that spark will burst into joyful flame once again.

The master invites us to appreciate ourselves, our inner beauty, while at the same time making certain we are completely honest with ourselves.  What are we really feeling?  What are we imagining we are feeling?  What are we hoping we will feel?  This is the true basis and function of meditation. Before embarking on a spiritual path, we must come face to face with our deep selves, naked, so that our true nature will be revealed.

Do we truly feel the icy stab of the first pail of water poured over our own warm flesh? Or do we feel it vicariously as our Master pours it? Do we rise before dawn with our entire consciousness, 100% present, in order to watch the reality of the sun rise in the sky, the sun rising inside our sky? Is it really our true nature which takes the prayer beads now, in the centre of the moment, completing it with all our might? Is our stupa dedicated and perfectly purified in order to embody the light of the great truth?

Mindfullness engenders enlightenment.

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