Saturday, February 11, 2006

Pith Prayer

Lord, may I be willing to forgo
perceptions of gain, desire, and profit

And thereby be willing to be of selfless service
to life in all of its forms.


Thursday, February 09, 2006

The Lamsa New Testament Available Free Online

This is the most profound and accurate translation of the New Testament available, being translated not from the Greek but from the Aramaic and so preserving the original idioms more precisely. It is a treat to read a chapter and find many different issues clarified, and a trememdous thing to have it available online.

To view it just click the title of this entry or go to:

God bless you Mr Lamsa!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006


Falling into nausea, weariness and discomfort, I fell on my bed in the middle of the afternoon after having blotted out the light of the sun as much as possible.

Today was day four of my liberation from antidepressants. And if my intuition is accurate (that it is a release and not a misjudgement to withdraw from the addictive SSRI) then it was the best of them all.

I sense in myself a new capacity and depth. Rather than go on about it I will describe what happened next, while I fell into bed.

Cold but sweating I wrapped up warmly. Antidepressants are addictive drugs and withdrawal symptoms are to be expected.

I prayed until my attention could settle. It settled on a brief light body-scan which is taught in some vipassna/mindfulness training retreats. I observed attention moving up and down the body, touching on aversions and (few) attractions as it did, sensing mental formations arise and vanish in the inchoate stillness that descended suddenly upon the body, and then I was asleep.

The megh raga, the ancient song to call the rain which I listen to as constantly as Mozart, stayed with me as I dreamt.

Staying in Sue (my neighbour's) house. Alone. No other place to go. Frightened of becoming homeless.

Suddenly the world stops. I left the dream body (which in the dream I presumed was my only physical form) and entered the bardo between lives taught by so many rinpoches, the groundless ground that is the end and source of the teachings of dzogchen and mahamudra, as well as advanced emptiness in the Mahayana tradition.

From this bardo between lives I observed the bardo of life and death. I observed the groundlessness of the presumptions that dominate the earthly bardo. I observed how the flow of kundalini ineffably devoured and gave rise to phenomena - a prospect which fills the bodymind that writes this with terror by the way. But in the bardo between lives the incredible bliss of surrender and liberation was the predominant experience. In the return to the dream body with the sound of Sue's car pulling up and my reaching to pick up my moleskine journal from her table, the return of concern for the dream world's form reappeared, just as it does during embodiment in the earthly realm between life and death.

I fearfully tidied up, afraid lest a mess would get her to throw me out of home. With cheeriness and words we met at the entrance. In a weird rush we communicated that I would not need a lift into town, but that she had a boy in her car whom I had gone to school with, Josh W-, now serving as an officer in the Australian navy, who she needed to attend to.

(For the dream interpreters out there, Josh W- is perhaps the most virtuous kid I went to school with, esteemed not only for his scholastic and sporting excellence, but also for his universally liked character and leadership qualities which have led to his rapid promotion through the ranks of the Navy in these recent days. Josh W- represents the worldly path of virtue and excellence which I did not in the dream choose to associate with, not because I do not admire him and what he stands for but simply because I felt the need to remain aligned with experiential spirituality in the dream. It is my view that by striving for spiritual alignment we automatically align with and support the appearence of the worldly excellence, leadership, character that Josh represents for me. This remains my fond hope, at least!)

From the grassy side of the road I watched, my dream body beginning to dissolve into waking, as Sue drove away with Josh.

As awareness merged with the physical body there arose a prayer that I might retain some merit of the experience. A deep sense of awe and devotion, combining with the terror and astonishment at the suddenness and profundity of the experience, inspired an ardent prayer of surrender to God. So in the moments of return to physical awareness there was a profound and heartfelt silence manifesting.

I immediately walked to the train station whilst surrendering experience of grasping of the notion of "I" as I walked. By the time I got to the station I fished out the moleskine and wrote the following poem, in an attempt to honor the moment of satori. Here is the poem:

In a dream all ceased
No thing at all.
Nothing to lean on
All concepts and dualities
Absorbed into primaeval bliss.

Before all is, was or will be
I am, ground and sky and air
In waking, embodied,
All renounces, surrenders,
And is made whole
Remembering that great bliss.

There is no "I"
No duration, change, or thought,
But seems to rise from oneness
And return.

All fear of death renounced
All karmic traces let go of
All sense of I surrendered
Thoughts are but no thinker thinks.

We live in the bardo of life and death
Sustained by Grace, Love and Presence
This very moment is the same sublime teaching
That when practiced truly brings full release.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Spiritual Alignment

"Am I really spiritually aligned, or am I just deluded?"

Late at night in my back yard I wondered this, after a beautiful devotional visit to the Bhakti Vedanta Ashram where I met Rupa, a highly evolved devotee, ate beautiful food at Govinda's, and paid my respects to the state of Krishna and the temple itself with a brief "namaste".

Walking away in bliss, I soon came to the train station where a pot smoking aboriginal woman, clearly mentally ill, cursed everything she could think of for close on 40 minutes. I sat out of sight, gave her a cigarette, and simply prayed not to resist the horrible stimulus. And sure enough it passed through me and although I felt as if I had stepped in an animal shit by accident, but free of judgement and reactive anger, impatience, or unhappiness. But how easy it would have been for this event to rain on my devotional parade, under slightly different circumstances, moods, or events.

So late this night, reflecting on the day, I asked myself:

"Am I really spiritually aligned, or am I just deluded?"

Finishing my cigarette, I picked up my bag and shook off a little black bug that had climbed it then went in. I stopped at the doorway. Getting an object, I went BACK to the black bug and gently turned it over so it could walk. It had fallen on its back and was having trouble getting up. The poor bug stopped struggling and became still once I turned it.

And I went inside to bed, no longer with any doubts about my spiritual alignment.
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