The Real Yoga of Sound

Sound is something that moves us, we hear a loud bang and immediately a picture comes into our mind-space;  if we are from a background of trauma there will be a response in our body, we may shake, freeze or run.  At the other end of the spectrum there is the syncopated rhythmic sound of rain on a tin roof, it always puts me to sleep, the pitter-patter of the drops closes my eyelids and I’m gone…outta here to Alpha Centauri, Shambala or the Deep Silence.
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Humans and the Sound
The relationship between sound and the human being is well known to composers who design audio for movies, they write at specific tempos to create anxiety in the viewers, speed it up for excitement or get the heart pumping, add bangs, whistles and pops, use notes where the harmonies clash or textures to calm, they develop tunes in various musical keys to evoke emotions.  The military also uses sound-weapons in ways to disperse crowds and to disturb people in specific locations.  We know that sound does impact on us, we hear it not only with our ears but also with other parts of our being.
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Rethinking the World of Sound Yoga and Spiritual Music
Personally I think there is a mountain of accidental misinformation and fluffy stuff about the yoga of sound; a lot of partial truths are spread among the community in the West that are assumed to be true. In the East there are great master musicians who are very self discipled and play to a very high standard but also in other cases there is a rigidness that is often not questioned, in some instances some things are considered to be undeniably true, staunch traditions with a mix of truth; cultural habits sometimes are a type of imprisonment.  Because an idea sounds reasonably okay and as a general rule Westerners are extremely gullible and emotional (and I say this as a 7/8th Caucasian person), it is often easy to be naive and fall into the “it’s from the East so it must be Spiritual” trap.  As I have spent a large portion of my life as a musician, been heavily involved in what would be called devotional music and have spent thirty years with the yoga of internal sound, I will add my view to the mix, it may differ to other peoples, that’s okay.
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My opinions on the subject are not flippy-floppy or based in a type of New Age euphoria; music has been a major focus point in my life, time and experience allows us to develop a sharp eye or in this case sharp ear to be able to identify the wagon of buffalo dung as it crawls its way along the dirt road to and from the Spiritual Retreats and Monasteries.
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Selling the Gods of Music
There are a lot of novices with various hypothesis who are lecturing and running workshops on a subject they sometimes have only a minimum of experience with, and I am not questioning their integrity, enthusiasm or intention, nor am I saying that the work that many people are doing is useless, not so.  The BOTTOM LINE is if participants at workshops ‘feel’ they benefit, it is very useful and dollars are well spent; but partial truths can be slightly dangerous things, in the same sense that ‘partial gurus’ who share a bit of the truth and set themselves up as ‘Da Masta’ often mislead the community, many bright eyed gullible naive people get led down the garden path and sometimes into the bedroom. I’ve had enough years to watch the ENDLESS betrayal of trust of student teacher relationships and the complexities that arise from them.  Short periods of starry-eyed-ness that always seems to lead to a mess, the pattern is pretty common not only in Spiritual circles but in the music scene in general.
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The Insignificance of OM 
I have read numerous articles and books about OM and what it supposedly is.  I will start from the beginning and clarify a few things, this will be at odds with a number of people.  OM is the sound of the CREATION. No doubt it does resonate at various other frequencies outside the audio spectrum of the ears of human beings and is present in other ‘world-spaces’. The view I take is contrary to many of the Spiritual teachers but not all.  It is important to note that it is not just the human ear that hears the sound of OM. The human ear and its potential is limited, a perfect example is most people can’t hear a dog whistle, the sound resonates somewhere between 23 and 54 Khz, this is way above the average human beings auditory perception, they say humans hear between 20Hz and 20Khz but really this is a variable and most people won’t hear the higher frequencies;  some can hear as low as 12 Hz and as high as 28 Khz but this would be a rarity and each person would need to be tested individually. George Martin (the 5th Beatle) was definitely a person who had a sense of heightened listening and proved this once when he heard a problem in a Neve mixing console that other people couldn’t hear.
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Listening with Our Being
The bottom line here is to get across the point that ‘sound is not just about our ears’, it resonates throughout the Cosmos and changes shape and frequency in other environments and this depends on how, who or what experiences it.  It can also manifest as light frequency; OM is part of this or should I say under, over and inside this. Contrary to popular belief and pseudo spiritual non-science OM is limited and is NOT what some people think it is.  It is often confused as being the NAAD and also the Word of the Middle Eastern and Western Mystic traditions, it is cross-referenced frequently as being the core sound and equated with God.  It is esoteric, Mystical but IS NOT all it is made out to be. This confusion of what OM is, is something that requires a little clarification.  OM is a little like a Caravanserai, a camel stop on a journey to a destination or could be equated with being a rope that joins those humpy backed beings together, it is the beginning of esoteric sound and I am almost tempted to say it may be bypassed, I will hold back on that one.  I do not consider OM as critical and if someone experienced the NAAD, I am adamant that OM would not be overly important. However it has its place of relevance and reverence in the land of Prakriti (Creation).
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Looking in the Wrong Places
Many of us at times think we have lost our glasses, when in truth we are already wearing them, we lose our keys at times only to find they are in our hands.   These analogies are similar to the sound we are looking for, in the same way the deer seeks the musk, it’s hiding in its navel and it looks everywhere for it, not knowing it’s within itself.  I am not going to head off into ‘what you are seeking is within you’, this is too ambiguous and is an overstated cliche.  But having said that, inside the head there is a ringing sound, it is high pitched, it phases in and out throughout the day, at moments it is loud, the sound of water is a reasonable description of it at certain times, it does change shape.
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The Great Escape
There is a ladder to heaven, the poet Sage Rumi speaks of this continuously, they are not just pretty words.  Rumi is such a master wordsmith it’s easy to miss what he is saying in the same way that we may not see the sun but we see its workings because around us is the play of light and darkness, the shadows pass, the luminosity is there but the sun is hidden.  He speaks of the golden branch, this branch is inside what is known as the silver coil that connects the lower astral body to the physical encasement (the 3D human body), this golden thread winds its way through into foreverness.  So what has that got to do with sound? EVERYTHING.  We forget that there is a unity in things, in the same way that a father may be a son, uncle, friend, grandparent or cousin, the world of subtle vibrations is the same. Sound and light are the same, it is just perceived differently depending on the RECEPTOR.
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The Musical Calling Card
In some Spiritual traditions peopler do chanting, Simram, Kirtan, Bhajan, although they are potent within themselves and are life changing, they are just teasers that call the aspirant into the Spirit, they are a doorway to what Mystics know as the Naam, the Naad, the Divine Melody or the Sound Celestial. This sound in its various manifestations are what would I say (for lack of words) is closest to God, in fact odd as it may sound it IS God.  The Great Silence/ the Ocean of Consciousness is God unmanifest, the Naam is the underlying thread that weaves through the Cosmos under the worlds of forms, it is the life force of all.
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Naam or Word
The Sound Celestial, Akash Bani, Naam or whatever Name it is given to it resonates within the human head, it is soft sound, it may be heard as a gentle ringing noise; when people hear it they often assume it is outside the head or around them.  This sound comes in waves, they peak and fall, when I say that I mean it does seem to have a high and low tide, in various situations or places it will be inclined to be a lot louder.
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When someone follows the sound it can change shape, it may take the shape of the music of harps, flourishes of glorious notes, I refer to it as the Harps of David (Biblical King who supposedly slayed the giant Goliath), it may also take the sound of a flute, this would be described as the flute of Krishna.  As the experiencer of the Divine sounds goes through deep states of consciousness they may at times experience the sound of bells, the conch, thunder and even have an explosion of light within the head.  I can only speak from personal experience, and cross reference that with credible literature, it will not be the same for everyone but there will be similarities in experience as ones world breaks apart into a larger sky-scape.
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I have spent thirty years with the Naam and I know beyond all doubt that it is what is worth pursuing as it is the vehicle we can use to travel to any location, a vine to climb to the stars, deep within and beyond.  This is the Yoga of Sound, the audio frequency that unifies all things, it truly is the ladder to heaven.  Personally I recommend people seek out this sound.
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Tilopa 2.0

Opinions Get in the Way

Human beings are an odd species, the ability to discriminate is a great skill and some would even say it is this that separates man and beast, however I know a dog who is very discerning, smarter than the average human.  Another thing about the human entity is the deep emotions that can drop a person into despair or make him or her weep when a child wins a sports trophy, a team wins a final or if somebody has a personal victory against all odds, we take these things for granted.  Those people who have done their research properly about things Alien or from Outer and Inner Space know full well that humans have certain characteristics that many others don’t.  Some space civilisations are so advanced technologically, on their journey of evolvement they have all but bred out emotion in their quest for excellence in specific areas; their bodily forms are adequate for their lifestyles, some have big heads and tiny bodies with minimal or virtually no muscle tone, some have no ears because they didn’t need them any longer and others survive on various gases or light forms.  There are many that would not survive a moment here without a breathing apparatus, in the same way if humans go too fast or far into deep space they would get turned into jelly;  there are others whose bodies are similar to human beings such as our friends from Alpha Centauri (who are closely aligned with the Venusians who met behind the scenes with the Governments in the 1950’s),  if you looked closely at their bodies you’d see areas that are designed to protect them and so they can function comfortably in aquatic and gaseous environments.  This diversity is no big deal really, simple as:
1) There is life on other planets.

2) There are many beings in each of the other worlds and planets in the same way that Earth has numerous species sharing the environment

3) Species adapt, evolve and develop a body to suit the world they move in
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If it’s Convincing Enough, Humans Will Believe Anything
The fascinating thing about humanity is the human being is not really over scientific in the way he/she experiences the world.  There is an assumption that because we have been given information that most people agree on, it must be fact.  Think carefully about that last sentence and you will understand the problem, your brain might just light up like a pinball machine when the coin drops; when you understand the implications that our world is built on assumptions you will begin to be able to dismantle the untruths that create the human prison house that inhibits mankind.  Essentially there are many agreed upon untruths.

Rewiring our Vision of the World Around Us
A wise man or women must always be prepared to be wrong about everything. I like the idea that in a split second we have the ability to go from being a genius to ignoramus and back again; it’s very humbling.  Being wrong is okay, I don’t mind being wrong however I am adamant about what I know if it’s based on personal experience, I will stand my ground on things that have come out of going through various processes and have eliminated doubt. And that does not mean I am not open to new information, it pours in every day at lightening speed.
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Kids are interesting, we’ve all been there.  A mum says, “don’t touch that, it’s hot”… the sound of a howling child fills the neighbourhood.  On the other hand we have the situations where we are told there is a God, depending on how severe the indoctrination aka upbringing is, a person may run through their life doing rituals, saying prayers, doing all the ‘right’ stuff that God wants.  When something happens that is not so wonderful, some people who have been shaped by the ‘guilt ridden judgemental church’ even think it is a punishment and go about their business not even questioning option B, C, D or other. Let’s go there.
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So many of us dress the same, it’s a follow the leader mentality. In a world of petty tyrants and bullies this is understandable because ‘fear’ holds the power over the community. Fear is useful, we see a tiger in the wild or in the world where I grew up a shark in the water is more common, often they are minding their own business but sometimes lunch is their business and there’s no need for me to go into detail.  Fear is a very normal thing but there is a world of paper tigers and paper mâché dragons that have people spellbound.  One of the great monsters that I will call The Fear of Change Dragon keeps people on a repeat loop, it’s safe to do the same thing and not step out of line.
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The Dreamers and Forgetting the Known
From my experience of watching the world, people and their behaviours it seems obvious that brilliant people, the dreamers, the wayfarers often come from the left-field.  What I mean here is in many cases they didn’t fit in, they were on the ‘outside’ but managed to turn the fruits of their experience into wisdom.  There are others who didn’t survive the journey.  There are many things that impact on how a person navigates it all but I do think that it is the OPINIONS of OTHERS and how they ‘stick’ to a person that makes the difference.  If a person does not have what I would refer to as enough ‘personal power’ then they will crumble because the dominant world views of others will be given a much higher degree of importance than personal experience.  An example is religious indoctrination.  I am not saying that religion or philosophy for that matter has no place but the truth of the matter is it is second hand knowledge, information comes through a lot of filters and agendas and is not based on personal experience; others experience may drop a hint on which way to go but unless we live it it is just a story.  A person may spend their life enslaved by an erroneous doctrine and it is the attachment to the doctrine that prevents the person from seeing a grander picture because the ‘mind space’ is so full of information it will block the view and prevent exploration of grander concepts.
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Unless we totally abandon what is ‘known’ there is little hope of heading into super-consciousness.  The thoughts of others, opinions of the world create a MIRAGE in the mind-space of each individual and the thoughts are so thick they prevent the individual from seeing what is really there.  A transparent view is critical if a person is serious about the journey of the Spirit.  The statues people pray to and with, the beads, the tainted scriptures, the Gurus and Masters, the Gods, the Spiritual practices are all an obstacle to freedom, they come with baggage, they zip a person up into the bag and prevent real experience from unfolding.  It takes incredible courage to abandon everything a person believes to be true.
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May all beings be happy and find their way 

Tilopa 2.0

The Yogis of Obsession

We’ve had enough years pass for the word Yoga to comfortably settle into the English language.  Yoga means something different to each individual, depending on one’s depth of experience the understanding will differ greatly. Yoga product markets have emerged, some flexy-bods are living the dream with their small businesses, others are in an infinite loop running back and forwards to Bali, Rishikesh or California to upgrade their skills; and many of us are well aware of quite a few supposed Yogis or Masters who came over from India to become household names in the Spiritual and what now falls under the title of ‘alternative lifestyle’ scene, some turned out to be villains, criminals even, type A personalities and abusers; others were or are sincerely humble and loving. There are also the handful of Sages and Yogis who have gone about their business unnoticed behind the scenes saving humanity’s butts.  And of course there are those people who just love their mat.
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Pic-a-nic Baskets
A lot of humans would know my hero Yogi Bear and his sidekick Boo Boo his ever loyal companion.  Yogi has a fascination with picnic baskets, other peoples. I don’t mind a picnic myself, scones, jam and cream or for my vegan friends we have options of not-cream, not-scones and a not so scrumptious non-jam alternative.  What I always liked about Yogi the Loveable Bear was his understanding of unity and sharing, it was beautifully expressed in the fact that he considered other people’s picnic basket content as fair game for him to participate in, it’s just most people hadn’t yet got to his level of understanding of what’s yours is mine.  All jokes aside, where I am going is Yogi lives life to the fullest and is at the polar opposite to those who practice asceticism. Asceticism ranges from severe to really messed up.  Being rigid is a long way from the over popularised Zen concept of ‘Be like a Hollow Bamboo’. A wise man once said to me “a spontaneous man (woman or other) is a liberated man.” Although this came from the wisest man I ever met, I won’t over think or delve into the idea of how people struggle to relax, the contradiction is obvious.
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We hear so many versions of what yoga might be, I will bypass the lot and not waste time with philosophy or hypothetical concepts. I am from the Yogi Bear school of Yoga and in the same way Yogi perfected and refined his snatch-n’-grab the basket skills, I have spent decades on my invisible-mat fine tuning and digging deep into and beyond the core of my being. I prefer bananas to asanas and it’s not that I think body-yoga is useless, it’s just not my natural tendency, there are people on the planet who don’t eat ice-cream or chocolate, bless their suffering souls, I do and the more crumbs on my face the better. Fortunately most of my friends do the body yoga stuff,  I have a resource available and they would be more than happy to tell me about it if I ever became interested.
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Yoga Means?
Here is the dilemma. We know we are all connected at some level.  You may have an inkling that there are great Beings in Inner and Outer Space. Those Beings would all un-dividedly say in unison that the only thing separating every Being is thought,  a person is always welcome to complicate what yoga might be but this is the essence of what you need to know whether you believe it, like it or not.  Yoga is about unity and separation is the issue. Often the word Yoga implies DOING SOMETHING to fix the dis-unity. But here’s the issue and where it gets weirder, THERE IS NO SEPARATION, to understand that, go back to the idea of ‘separated in thought’. Obsession with a mistaken identity is the problem whether you think you are a yogi nor not.
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The Age of Me Me Me 
We live an a fascinating time.  If I was to time-travel back to being about fourteen years old and looked along the arrow of time into the present, my bold smart-ass younger self would quite outspokenly say with a lot of bravado, “people are pretty up-themselves”. The ‘up yourself problem’ has come about because of an identity crisis. People don’t know who they are, more specifically they think they need to be someone or something special; the ‘no snowflake is the same’ analogy just isn’t potent enough because the disorder of needing to be somebody is very, very deeply ingrained. People want to add colour to the snowflake, bling, bells and whistles and say, ‘it’s all about me’, not recognising the sublime diversity of each snowflake.
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EGO, What Ego?
Strange as it may seem I don’t include the word EGO in my vocabulary, I only use it in conversation as a reference for those who consider it to be a reality or truth, which seems to be most people, therefore any accusation of ‘he or her has a big ego’ doesn’t hold any weight in my world, it’s meaningless because it’s a judgement call based in untruth.  The supposed EGO thing is just a bundle of thoughts and the central perceiver believes that the combined ideas it perceives about itself is a real identity. So for me the ‘up themselves’ issue is not about EGO, it’s very different, it’s about projecting an identity onto the stage of life.  People measure the mental projection against other projections, a lot of sub-conscious calculations go on and then the individual places him or herself into a hierarchy that is not really solid, the ‘virtual hierarchy’ is in constant motion depending on who is present, who it relates to and how the individual is feeling. It’s all conceptual.
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Social Network Imagery
If we were to dig around social networks  and see information or profiles relating to YOGA we will end up with an endless stream of images of healthy looking bodies in leotards stretched into poses that remind us of cheetahs, big cats and other types of animals, maybe a Buddha statue carefully placed, an OM sign, a Byron Bay tan and a feel good wisdom statement.  To some people this is perceived as a problem; a lot of my friends resemble that model and are deeply embedded into the yoga community, it’s really no big deal for me, however I do know there are those who would say ‘POSERS’.  But the underlying idea for many of these practitioners is often “I take care of myself, I feel good, I want to look good, am running a class in healthy lifestyle, I’m pushing forward”, in all honesty there really is no big problem with that.  However, where the issue lies is that if the onlooker perceives that ‘model’ to represent yoga, spirituality or health and they desire to be it and are incapable of ‘looking or being that way’, then Houston there really is a problem.  If we jump across to another community, we know from experience Hollywood is full of show ponies, at one end we have celebrities that wouldn’t waste their time to talk to a person that they didn’t see as ‘their equal’, they are TRULY up-themselves; at the other end of the spectrum we have some people who may be glamorous, visually beautiful, stylish and very kind, they may serve the community in ways that no-one would even know.  Looks are deceiving.  My ‘teacher’ was really badly dressed but he had the deepest most beautiful eyes that could see into forever. As I came from a family where being nicely dressed was normal, my teacher’s attire was in itself something that was not only humorous but it required a lot of rethinking and adjustment of my world view.
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To Obsess or Not Obsess
I will go back and focus on the title of the article, I am writing about the Yogis of Obsession.  Obsession is more about the times we live in than Yogis. People are struggling to find a place, to be noticed, to make money, to have a sense of self-worth in communities that from birth place kids on the back foot where there is an underlying program running in the background to ‘get out there and do it, make us proud, one day you are gonna make it and show everyone that you’re special’… better than all the rest.  This spills over into all areas of experience, however because Yoga (what I define as the Unity of All Consciousness and Emptiness) and what we see in the world around us are at 180 degrees to each other, the topic of Yoga is the perfect example to pinpoint the problem we are faced with; in truth the underlying issue is the deer is seeking the musk inside itself, the dog chasing its own tail, the SEEKER is the SOUGHT. People are trying to become what they already are, in this quest there is an accidental denial of Divinity. The common ‘narrative’ is that God, the Self, what you are seeking is more wondrous than the experience you are going through. In social consciousness there is the unspoken idea that things must be better than what’s happening now if it’s God or the Self we are talking about. I am in no way implying that there are not phenomenal things happening outside our known scope, there are, we are Multi Dimensional Beings and the brain filters out what is beyond our ability for us to cope with but EVERYTHING whether it be other dimensional or the known is still in the world of form or some type of frequency which essentially is a combination of Consciousness and Energy.  It is ALL an expression of THOUGHT.
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Making Sense
If we are serious in our quest, we need to come back to basics and find a ‘leveller’, something to bring about common sense, real humility (not exhibitions of devotion or public displays of service), to ‘rework’ the VISION and STORY of what Yoga is and who the Yogis are.  Firstly it needs to be clear we are ALL in a constant state of Yoga. And with that idea as a foundation then the obvious implication is we are all Yogis; not just those who get up early and do stuff, chant, do Japa and mantra or look funky in leotards. We need to understand fully that the great Godmen and Godwomen have ALWAYS incarnated into all areas of the community both historically and currently.  Rama was a king, Buddha was a wanderer after he let go of his Royal duties, Jesus was extremely poor, we know he learnt carpentry and also did many things from sixteen years old as he travelled the world before and after his moment on the cross; look at the life of Joan of Arc, Arjuna was a warrior, some of the Sages live on the street in the ghettos, others hold down 9 to 5 jobs.
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I am a different type of Yogi, I don’t steal picnic baskets, I don’t stand on my head or salute the sun or even own a mat. I know beyond any doubt that I am a part of the Totality, that my God molecules are no different in their nature than any Being that will ever Be and I know that the underlying Emptiness, the Super-Consciousnes is my foundation, when I disintegrate myself in deep meditation that this Silence that sits beneath, beyond or within all is my core Being.  But I am not obsessed with it, I may be obsessed with expounding the gloriousness of Yoga and by that I mean the Totality or even obsessed with unfolding my life’s tapestry into foreverness.  I am not a seeker, the sought is found, never distant, it is HERE NOW.
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A gentle adjustment is required, a slight movement in thinking and disentangling from the bundle of thoughts that define themselves as the self,  the little obsessed self that is forgetting who it really is, the one that runs in circles to achieve Yoga or some type of union with the ALL. It already exists, there is not a place where the SELF is not, it unfolds the creation beautifully and looks out with our eyes and feels it with our Being.
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Tilopa 2.0

Third Noble Truth

To those who are unfamiliar with Buddhist teachings, there is something called the Four Noble Truths.  In my case I write on the subject from a very different perspective than traditional Buddhists and this is because my commentaries come from experience and not from a religious perspective. Those of us who comfortably move in and out of the transcendental at will have the ability to look at doctrines, teachings and scriptural texts and ‘see’ through them, then articulate what is written into a language that is ‘living’ and transformative.  To many Buddhists the common understanding of the Third Noble Truth is the “Knowledge of the Cessation of Suffering”.  The first Noble Truth is the Truth of Suffering and the second is to do with the Cause of Suffering, I have written about these already but this commentary on the Third Noble Truth is not dependant on the other two. Traditionally people consider that the Noble Truths may be sequential but when it comes to wisdom we can enter at any point and it will unfold its mystery.
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Not Feeling the Pain
There is a type of irony right now within this moment.  I am sitting here, my belly full like a chubby smiley Buddha, I feel warm, the food odours waft by, the sweet smells seem to get my salivary glands going a little more.  Being a vegetarian for most of my life I am very fussy and ridiculously over-sensitive, this place I am in has a comfy slightly hipster Eastern contemporary feel about it, around me people are laughing and chatting, everything is cruisey not so bluesy.  Out on the street it’s a little chilly, I’m sitting in a cafe on a popular street in the inner city, lots of bars open with people spilling out onto the pavement. It’s Friday night, everyone seems rather joyous after downing a drink or two, no-one is obnoxious or has drowned in their alcohol … yet.  I can’t see or feel the Suffering right now that my Buddhist brothers and sisters fuss about or speak of.
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Human Nature
There is something that visitors from other worlds must wonder about and although some of us know that a lot of our alien friends have super-minds and present as if they are emotionally dry and wouldn’t crack a smile in a million years (literally). But there are others humanity will encounter who do have a sense of humour, they no doubt would fall off their super-sonic chairs in their shuttle-craft in disbelief watching the antics of humans. Humanity is a very mysterious species, an enigma to the star people from Inner and Outer Space who gaze on in amazement and monitor everything.  The human being is such that if you tell him or her that something is missing, sure enough they won’t be able to help themselves and will head off in all directions to find out what it just might be.
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Rethinking the S-Word
Suffering is our friend.  Strange as it may seem. We do live in an odd world, we interpret things in a particular way but it is so familiar everything seems okay. Our genes carry the opinions of the past civilisations and our ancestors.  We need to reconsider the role of suffering in order to be free. The Noble Truths are about freedom, they are not about acquiring information and adding it to our bundle of supposed wisdom.
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Let’s go there, get personal, realie and feely.  There are people who we have adored, then in an instant a strange shadow emerges out of Emptiness.  In a moment what we perceived as love dissolves right before our eyes, that’s a part of life on planet Earth; friendships and love-ships can change so quickly.  I don’t really have enemies, I try to resolve everything, it’s not always possible but this attitude is healthy, otherwise my days are poisoned. My real enemies are the things I need to change within myself.  Mankind does have an enemy, there is an abomination that wishes to enslave it, it takes the form of various tyrants who run the world, the creators of the systems that dominate the communities we move in.  But suffering, BELOVED SUFFERING is our friend.  It IS the ache in our heart that points us in the direction of DEEP change, it leads us gently or drags us unwillingly into transformation, it is the harbinger of a new season of experiences emerging. It is NOT some tool of a hateful god who seeks vengeance and accountability for our supposed misdeeds or inflicts us with ‘our karma’, if you want to believe that stuff your life may always feel like misery or you will have a dull ache and shadow following you around, ahhh the tragedy of enslaved thinking.
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OUCH!
Like many other people I don’t ‘DO’ or overly like pain, particularly things that physically hurt. Am I soft? NO I am gentle, there is a difference. I like to feel nice, it’s my birthright to be happy and the Western Christian concept of guilt, despair, and repent sinner are control programs. As a child and young teenager I did play Rugby Union and Rugby League; like most teens when all the natural chemicals kicked in I quite enjoyed getting smashed around, struttin’ my stuff, the harder you hit meant the higher in the hierarchy of the Lion Kingdom you were or more specifically Planet of the Human Apes. But as years passed I have loosened up, as a musician I care for my hands and after a large dose of hippiedom in my late teens, acoustic guitars and a lot of brown rice I changed and the artiste within took control of the reins of my being.  I am not one of those unfilfulled artists who carries on like the world owes them something, I do stuff that I love and within this is fulfilment.
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Suffering is something extraordinary.  I know the feelings well that fall under that heading and I don’t run from them, would I like to? Absolutely.  I peep out from under my blankets and say, “gotta get out of here, see ya later alligator” but after a short period of time my Sage within wraps his arms around me, holds me gently and says “you’ll be okay, just wait, we are in this together, there is a new day coming, you are loved and blessed,” my eyes fill up with tears and I stay.  Like many men and women my beloved left, I loved her so dearly, I am not ashamed to say I loved but I am not a victim of love lost, I am a feeling being who has the intelligence to embrace change, to seek understanding, to accept the patterns of the changing kaleidoscope of life and allow others to follow their dreams.  So how on earth do I tell the man that I am who is hurting that ‘suffering is a friend’? If I said this to another fragile person who had a grieving heart, that friend would walk away, they would tell me that I lacked empathy and they would consider me as somebody who was insensitive and although I had written many things over the years that expressed wisdom, in my actions I had proven beyond any doubt that I was all talk with no walk.
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Looking at Noble Truth Number 3
I am writing about the Cessation of Suffering, the Third Noble Truth.  If the teachings of Buddha that are passed down are true, then there is hope that the cessation will come. However we do know that those who run the religions create lies to control, to imprison man and to have power in the strength in numbers by getting their communities to believe in their truths.  So maybe it’s best to bypass the great Gautama Buddha and attempt to come to a point of rest without dogma, scriptures or tradition, to ‘arrive’ by seeing from personal experience.
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So let’s go back to the problem or at least a real scenario and dig in, when we are in it, it bites, we’ve all been there.  Our loved one has just left us high and dry, the pain is unbearable, can’t sleep, everything and everyone reminds us of him or her, it feels like a dark shadow we can’t shake, tears emerge at the strangest times, you think you’re over it then whammo someone says something and you melt like an ice-block in the desert sun, or feel the bitterness of winter and it seems to have no end, your bones hurt from the cold even though it’s a hot sunny day.  Sound familiar?
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What’s Normal?
When resolving things I always like to start from the point where I make a decision of whether it is normal or not; to have an aching heart when someone we love exits the arena of our life is a very natural and healthy response, even though we can say this is not unusual, there will be no consolation when I say, “Hey this is normal”, it won’t pacify the pain nor dry the tears.  If we didn’t feel something it really be would be a concern; we know the Cosmos is in order, it’s uncomfortable yes true; life consists of a number of seasons, things form, grow, sort of stabilise then there is decay, change is constant.  Humans are feeling beings and that is such a beauteous thing about the species; without feelings life becomes just a set of menial tasks, rather drone-esque and robotish.  And if that’s all that life is, best we close down the Universe immediately.
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Feelings
From my experience I know that wisdom comes from experience, experiences unpack feelings. Feelings are important but we need to be cautious that they don’t become our master.  There are days when I don’t want wisdom, I’d rather be a dumb-ass in love, to feel the loving arms I miss, to see her eyes, to feel her being beside me. So here I am with my deepest feelings on the surface, totally unashamedly vulnerable. HOWEVER, this is where I walk through the doorway to freedom each moment, this is what separates the Gods from the Philosophers, the Sadhaks (aspirants) from the Siddhas (the free men/women); freedom is not in the future, it is unfolding each moment, people have been duped by books and false teachers.
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Through this doorway that I peer stands forever, endless possibilities, unknown worlds, changes cascading, glorious Benevolent beings… if I wallow in the state of ‘what isn’t’, in dreams of how I think things should be, clinging to the past and imaginary futures, suffering is my booty, I am its slave.
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The Third Noble Truth as I said was, ” the Cessation of Suffering”.  Suffering at this point and phase of humanity’s evolution is always there, we have a choice whether we enter it, cling to it, allow it to be the driving force behind what we do.  Or we can step off the dance floor of life, take a breather, see it for what it is, just another dance step in the passing show, tripping over our toes …we restore our balance and glide across the floor.
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Freedom is now, not in the imaginary future, it is HERE NOW.  The real issue is people have no idea what it looks or feels like.
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Tilopa 2.0

Going Past the Second Noble Truth

The Great Buddha has been revered by millions of people over the centuries, that wondrous hero gave up what many men desire; fame, fortune, royalty, beautiful wife, beloved child, an exquisite garden he roamed in … he had everything that so many crave.  He walked away from it all off into foreverness to resolve some of the mysteries of life and by his actions not just words said ‘here’s how you do it’.
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End of an Era
The age that the Buddha lived in that we are a part of is just closing its window now, the sun of this era is setting.  Even though it has been spoken of for decades, unbeknown to many people a new world is unfolding just out of view in the background hidden behind the curtain of the ‘stage of life’. We still see the remnants of the outgoing civilisation, regardless of over two thousand years of mankind trying to get it right, the state of the world is even more chaotic, polluted, on the edge of destruction, in the lands where the Buddha roamed there is immense poverty and unbearable pain, hatred, cultural divisions, cruelty to animals, all those things that make us feel a little uncomfortable, many of us try  not to look, at times it’s all too much.
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Two Buddhas
When I was I teenager I loved seeing the statues of the Laughing Buddha, I imagined that chubby wandering wayfarer spreading joy wherever he roamed, sack of goodies over his shoulder, he IS owned by nothing and a slave to no man or imaginary Ghost.  Maybe we could all pick up a sack and follow him across the Universe spreading happiness and bliss; there is great confusion in the world now, I wonder if in the chaos if we all ‘walked out’ the world would settle into a sense of order.  Buddha Gautama was skinnier and less obvious but his story more potent and far reaching across the globe and into future times, he escaped the palace, he bolted.  Hidden forces helped him over the fence to get out of the enchanted worldly-prison. Mankind is guided and nurtured by people from the stars, here I am not joking and I will emphatically state they are alien beings, there is also the great Vedic civilisation that is hidden within the Earth. Many Buddhists wouldn’t know this and would bypass the idea, see it as fantasy.  Buddha didn’t work alone he was sent in to lay a foundation to guide humanity to train the global community in a methodology of how to behave with dignity, to teach people how to live lives with integrity and get out of the thought prison. All humanity is in enslaved and the clean up is done by those who seeded the planet and have overseen its growth.  Many Buddhists generally may not want hear to those sort of things because it is outside their dogma and it would be considered heresy, mere speculation; however the Cosmos does not belong to Buddhists alone and that is a no-brainer; this is about the great escape and as the Buddha may have said, “a chain is a chain even if it’s a gold chain”. Wise men are not bound by religion, dogma or philosophy.
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Understanding Nobility
When we look at the second Noble Truth and frame it as a question, ‘What is the Noble Truth of the origin of suffering?’ It is easy to respond with cliches, let’s not waste our time with that, we can dig deeper and be bigger than that. Nobility is something we need to think about here.  Noble beings have an ability to see through the limitations that mice and men are stuck in.  Being a slave to time and desire are symptoms of the disease that humanity is suffering from.  I have brought time into the picture here because Noble men and women are very forgiving or I will say more specifically they have an understanding that eventually over a long period of time all beings COME back and rest in the Source, I don’t mean oblivion, I am saying that there is a journey OUT through the Cosmos and once a Being is totally awakened to its nature, he, she or it will merge into and reemerge at will to and from the Emptiness; rise and fall, in and out, unfolding into new possibilities. Thus the Nobles understand that a moment in time is just a speck in the grand scheme of things. We have forever and in there lies the compassion of understanding.
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People speak of Truth, Truth depends on what point one is looking from, the idea of Absolute Truth is conceptual, if you would like to believe in an Absolute Truth you can easily find one, hold fast to it, enslave yourself and others; I would not waste my time in debating if there is an Absolute Truth, I am aware of the underlying nature of things but I will not philosophise about it, unless something is experienced first hand it is just an opinion.  However, here in this instance we are looking from the point of Noble-Truth.  We need to BE the Buddha in order to understand what a Noble-Truth may be, if we stay human with the normal parameters that imprison man we will always get it wrong. A Noble Truth in this case is something that will jailbreak a being out of limited thought into foreverness.
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Origin
We are looking at the Origin of Suffering, most of us probably have all heard the words attachment and desire used in relation to the cause of suffering.  The pattern is much like:  Cat sitting in garden sunning itself, mouse scoots by, cat gets sparkly eyes, cat chases mouse, cat eats mouse, yum…savours the after taste.  Cats memory gets loaded up with the yummy sensation. Next day, cat waits in the same spot and hopes one of the mouse’s buddy will pass by, he can sense the flavour in his taste buds… “What do I want?”  Mouse, “When do I want it ?” Now.  This is the pattern that we humans understand all too well, choose your designer addiction if you please.
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The Buddha Eyes 
Like other awake men and women I have looked out my Buddha window many times, I see the problems that arise from wanting to keep things longer than their use-by date or those moments when I see something scrumptious before me, I know too well what banana and strawberry cake with cream tastes like; based on a lifetime of experience I am aware of the size of my mouth and stomach, I am clear that one slice is usually enough but by the third helping my eyes are almost rolling, the sugar is kicking in and feelin’ a little edgy, the stomach is screaming “bad idea, baaaad idea, don’t do it, you’ve had enough”… due to the flavours overriding my common sense I give in.  Next day I pass the cake shop and just can’t resist a visit.
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It’s More Than a Question
Okay let’s look at this. We are trying find the Origin of Suffering.  Maybe we can go a step further and instead of just getting a superficial intellectual understanding of it, we can take ourselves into a state of being where suffering ceases.  Being hypothetical and answering a question may suit a lot of people, put the thoughts at rest; they can get a good understanding and possibly some day in the future they could get to the point where MAYBE suffering ceases.  I’m not big on promises of good times in the future, it’s not that I don’t want a happy future it’s just that if I seek the doughnut on the string I am fully aware that as the world spins through space the doughnut is constantly moving away into the distance ahead of me.  I may unfortunately due to a wayward comet hitting Earth have my lifespan shortened or in a bizarre unheard of comical scenario that would be a real social media hit, suffer the fate of bumping heads with a dolphin in the surf, get knocked unconscious and swallow too much water, alas! And so was the fate of Tilopa 2.0 forever etched in digital form to be shared at will by those seeking a little laugh.
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Being There Now
Let’s do this now, break the sense of order, bypass the third and fourth Noble Truths, get rid of dogma and mental slavery forever. There is nothing that says we can’t.  Let’s claim back our power, destroy those who keep humanity prisoner with there limited religious thought; I will have no mercy nor respect here, we need to disempower the petty tyrants who use their faith to control humanity with ritual and hollow practices.
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Dreaming
We have heard in passing that life is a dream, this could be scary for some, absolutely terrifying, whereas others may say, “thank heavens what a relief ” and there will be those who think this to be meaningless nonsense. Regardless of whether we perceive that to be true, at times we do notice a certain amount of translucence to the world we move in, we often find ourselves in-between worlds just as we wake up or go off to sleep.  We see an old friend by accident on the street, we question “is that really you?” We fall in and out of love, people pass from our lives and nothing seems solid; we look back through our years and it seems lifetimes ago, beloved people leave the stage of the world, we weep and long for them, they are just a thought memory.
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In this passing show of bouncing molecules readjusting themselves into new forms is where we can understand where freedom lies and then take action…or more precisely should I say take no action. In perceiving the transience of the world is freedom. When we know that there is a mistiness and impermanence of EVERYTHING that comes into our field of experience and also that even WE have no real substance to us that is solid, transformation of the mind-space emerges.  It may cut like a knife through a birthday cake, it may slay you for a while, it could gently wrap itself around you like a blanket and warm your being, you may weep tears in longing for what you think you have lost.  The phantoms of the world come and go, we greet them, we love them, we do our best to accept them… we move off into foreverness into the mystery, we travel into the stars and beyond the deep midnight blue.
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The Dance
We have a choice every moment and this is great wisdom if you want it regarding the second Noble Truth, “what is the origin of suffering?” Simply put, YOU ARE.  So what do you do with this, you may say, “I don’t feel any different”.  As everything emerges on the screen of life, the awareness that experiences your life has an option to enter it or be a witness to the passing show, to allow it to be what it is, show its face.  We look at it and see it as a facet of the Divine doing its dance, it turns and looks at us and says, “Do you accept me as this?” We gaze into it with a loving acceptance, embrace it and say YES”.  It dissolves back into Emptiness, we throw our sack over our shoulder like the Laughing Buddha and wander on our way through life with gratitude, with kindness and a deep understanding of the nature of things.

Tilopa 2.0

First Noble Truth Reconsidered

The world we move in has always been gifted with great Teachers. They arrive open hearted to lay a foundation for future generations to be able to put in place a set of principles so humanity can protect itself from itself.  Hedonism, decadence, over consumption, excessiveness, imbalanced life, narcism always seems to naturally run rampant, humanity at times is like a car rolling along without breaks and is in danger off self destruction, when we add science to the mix we end up with Weapons of Self Destruction in the hands of madmen.
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After the Main Guy Leaves
It is not uncommon to see the situation where once a great Teacher has left, after a short period of time things get a little bit twisted, okay let’s be clear, it’s really a BIG little.  It’s easy to follow dogmas, they are comfortable – feel good, dangle some beads around the neck, set up an altar and a few statues, grab the prayer book, learn the designer lingo, and then bond with a ‘sense’ of community who are all going the same way … regardless which way, doing it together feels safe.  Spiritual aspirants usually call themselves the ‘black sheep of the family’ but always join another flock all wearing the same fleece.  It is easy to be told or fed someone else’s wisdom, to accept and believe what it may mean when you are told it by a more senior member of the community or someone you feel is ‘in the know.’ Those in the know are powerful, it is not uncommon that they sometimes misuse that power; obviously not always as there are well intentioned people everywhere.
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HOWEVER it is critical to question everything, if not we may unwittingly become a slave to a concept.  It’s easy for the Spiritual bling to creep in, it can take over our lives and we can assume that these things make us closer to God or the goal, when really it’s often just wallpaper, delusion, Maya at its finest. Spiritual adornments are just laying extra layers over the top and block the view. The Universes/ Prakriti is the playground, there is form and the formless.  Out of Emptiness emerges all things, they rise and fall in consciousness. When freedom is what a person is seeking, imprisonment just doesn’t cut it…run…run fast…get out of there ASAP, in a moment we can cut through the delusion and if we linger it does lead to immense suffering. The baby and the bath water doesn’t cut it… run…run…run…back to yourSelf. Each moment we have the opportunity to abandon EVERYTHING, there is no obligation to the past or what we have committed too when it comes to real freedom.
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The Buddha
Great minds don’t think alike, they go where no-one has dreamed.  They bring in the unknown, something extraordinary that creates a new pathway for humanity; these people make others feel a little uncomfortable, people run away. Uncomfortableness is good, it’ll make you a little itchy, restless, give you sleepless nights; these will say what you are NEVER ready to hear.
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Buddha Gautama was one of many throughout the history of the endless Dance of the Cosmos who emerged out of the Infinite Silence to uplift humanity. He arrived and like other great Sages his very presence transformed those he encountered, even if they didn’t know it, the mixing of His field with theirs was enough to totally destroy them, I say destroy because in freedom everything we believe to be true gets annihilated, Buddha planted the seed as He wandered, even those who hated him benefited by encountering Him. Those who follow later, the people who form groups that ultimately morph into structured spiritual or religious organisations, cults and sects, they will interpret the words and experiences to suit their limited perceptions and understanding and create dogmas.
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Is it Noble? Is it True?
Although I am very familiar with Buddhist texts, the other day my eye was caught and I froze when I read a reasonably common translation of the First Noble Truth. ‘All Life is Suffering’, this is one translation, one of many, I won’t address other ones that may be wiser but this is a springboard for removing something that has filtered through those that are both in and outside the Buddhist faith.  I felt a little unsettled when I was reminded of this way of thinking, it knocked on my being so I decided to explore it.  I could see clearly that it had the potential for undermining the wellbeing of the well intentioned Spiritual aspirants. I do know that if we dig in and run with it we will probably find something transformative. If we are not cautious we can easily bind ourselves to a self-imposed dogma, there’s always a type of subtle programming that can undermine our joy.
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Lights Action  – Take Two
Let’s start over.  What I write here is not about being correct and attempting to be wiser than others. These are living teachings not historical.  I am interested in transformation, creating a bridge to cross over; we need to be prepared to abandon what we assume to be true.  Humility is reflected in our ability to be wrong, to throw EVERYTHING out the window.  Without this attitude there is no hope, we can become prisoners of doctrines and our misunderstandings.  Philosophy is about opinions, people looking at an object and telling us about it, that is only mind games, speculation.  I have learnt from experience that much that I considered to be true, even EXPERIENCED based things were totally wrong, the experiences were real but in time I discovered it was my interpretation of them that was upside down.  I recommend being open because if we are not, when it COLLAPSES and we see into what is really going on, it will be a shock to ANYONE, I know this first hand.
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Our Nature and Birth Rite
Happiness is not just a goal for the future, although if we are generally unhappy now it is reasonable to have desire for it to emerge at some point downstream in our lives, this is normal but really, happiness is for NOW. If we are always running to find happiness in future times, living with a hope that one day it will be okay, unknowngly our life will flit away, the wrinkles gradually arrive, the signs of ageing creep in, the sparkle in the eye dissolves like salt in water, the essence of electrical current in our being whittles down to zero; but the doughnut on the string will still be out of reach even when the angel of death passes over and knocks on the door and welcomes us in.  If we are addicted to our past and are hypnotised by all the blissful moments that flowed under the bridge, we may find ourself always trying to recapture them; that first kiss, travel in new country, a breakthrough in art or music where we discovered we could compose a song or said “hey I really am going to be an artist”.  We do need to embrace our worthiness but find ways not cling to things, to see events like petals on a flower in our garden of existence, an ever changing lush landscape with seasons.
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We need to be cautious of what drives us. By this I mean there is something deep down hidden in the subconscious that impacts on the way we feel the world and create our lives.  The first Noble Truth about suffering requires a lot of thought, clarity needs to be there, our insight must deepen.  If we stay on the surface and take on the concept ‘all life is suffering’ we will be in serious strife. We may get caught as if we as humans are in debt to suffering and continue the narrative.
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Beauty 
I grew up by the beach, as a child the rolling waves were inviting but scary, the gritty sand in my toes, kids using sieves to find coins, playful waves on the shore, the gentle swish noise of the water moving backwards and forwards at the edge of the great blue expanse, the rock pool with baby tiger sharks wiggling, fish, starfish, jellyfish, the sunrise, all those wondrous lifeforms reminded me there was more than the television, the milkshakes, girls in bikinis strutting their stuff, the smell of coconut oil. There is no need for me to seek suffering there; only a madman does that.
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On a hot day I can still taste the ice creams and paddle pops I ate as a child, feel the sun against my skin, sense myself diving under the waves, swallowing a little too much salt water, dumped on the sandbank.  I rarely eat ice-cream now, my body finds it too cold as it heads down my insides but I honour its existence, some glorious being breathed it into being.  I am not addicted to my past experiences, if I cling too much to the joys and keep pulling them into the ‘screen in my frontal lobe’ I will find myself lacking, they are gone, have moved back into Emptiness.  And if I am a slave to the joys of my past I will have to embrace its twin, the sadness, despair and tragedies that slayed me at moments.
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I found it
I see the clouds changing shape, they take new forms just like the molecules in the world around me. I know that I have found love, not just in the arms of those wondrous women beings who passed through my life and left a piece of their beauty in me, those wondrous beings who helped shape the man I am for better or for worse, I embrace love in the passing play of life, not clinging but in learning how to accept the diversity of all things, the aridness of the desert, the biting cold, the gentleness of meek people, acceptance of those who are naive, the loud and bold also have their story, and the sound of a child singing strange noises.
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I will leave suffering to those that need it to guide them.  I will walk another way, an uncharted path and be my own Buddha.

Embracing the Phantoms of Eternity

We walk such a fine line in life, between the polarities of joy and suffering, success and failure, we stand on the edge of forever looking out to where we may one day be and at the same time we sometimes bow our heads and look down, as if into an abyss of darkness forgetting the rising sun, the stars, the new blooms, the spring, unborn love and the sweetness reflected in the bees.
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The Cosmic Gatekeeper
The shadow of death passes over every house, only the free men are in some way detached from it.  Not that they don’t feel, they do, they rain tears down their cheeks like all others, it’s just that they see the chapters in the book of life as part of the totality that changes shape and allow the phantoms to pass.  Wisdom is the fruit of experience, we are feeling beings firstly, and as my dearest wise friend once said to me. ‘the Sage will never tell you the price he paid for liberation,’ those words have allowed me to embrace change when my heart has been taken to the limits of despair, it has been a light to guide me beyond my known limitations.
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Knock Knock
The knock on the door that everyone lives in fear of comes once for each one of our beloveds.  Knowing this allows us to live every other day rejoicing their existence, to look for ways to to resolve our petty differences, to hold them more often, to look into their eyes and see the wonder of their being, to rejoice in the miracle of their existence and when they dissolve through the veil of infinity we honor them by living a glorious life, to make sure our days are not wasted in trivia, petty things.
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Foreverness
As each person leaves the stage of the world, may we bow in reverence.  They have left a piece of themselves in us that lives on and becomes a part of us, a mannerism, a snippet of wisdom, a gesture that defined them, they walk with us over the horizon into eternity.
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May we always find love and in a state of forgetfulness bypass the misgivings, see the splendor in the meetings of the spirits that we are, and be gentle with each other.
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May empathy, compassion and kindness always be restored and rise again quickly even when we lose our way.

Beyond Myth and Feeling Beings

One of the problems we have is ‘intelligent people’ rule the society, not the governments, they are run by hideous tyrants.  What I mean is ‘intelligent people’ have hoodwinked the communities from one side of the globe to the other that they with their knowledge or more specifically I will say ‘impressions and viewpoint of the world’ are at the apex of civilisation and that anything that is not according to their set of rules or understanding is lesser, of not much value, inconsequential and needs to be minimised, put in its place or even scoffed at.
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FEELING
Arrogant elitism has a feeling about it.  And this is where the ‘feeling people’, the Empaths, the Sensitives, the Mystics like myself, the dreamers, the wanderers, the gentle of heart, those of the Spirit have the ability to claim back our power and rise above the limitations of imprisoned social consciousness and disempower in our thoughts those who have dominated the civilisation for ions.  It is FEELING that is the doorway to transformation, not emotions, FEELINGS, not intelligence, FEELINGS.  As the great sage Tilopa 1.0 said a thousand years ago “Although it cannot be said, Naropa I will say it for you”.  All the wise men go past intelligence but many have it in their tool box to pull out when needed.
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NATURE
The wind gently brushed against my skin, normally I hide from that blowie wondrous Being who picks up the seeds and scatters them to their new quarters to create future generations of their species; but now as my heart opens a little I am learning to break down the walls of the prison I have been educated into.  I’ve always loved the salt water on my skin, the Sun that glorious living God burning the surface of my being, the sand in between my toes reminding me that grittiness and texture is a sensation I need to seek more often.  Wrapped in water under the waves I recall a deep past when some of my ancestors the Mermans and Mermaids swam with Matsya to save the Vedas from being lost forever. To many, they see that as Myth and Legend, stories for children, tales told by a foolish primitive community that was too stupid to understand what was real and what was important or intelligent.
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As Mother Earth suffers mans pollution, all the hideous crimes against nature, the obliteration of species; man the outcast of the Stars with his narcissistic tendencies and over abundance of self importance. We now see and experience the affects of ‘intelligent’ man who have allowed businessmen, tyrants, the elite, sociopaths to call the shots of the destiny of man.
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Smarty Pants
Intelligence can be wise, Jiddu Krishnamurthi had extraordinary intelligence but he used it to place mankind under the microscope and transform lives, Einstein and others had a creative intelligence and questioning to translate the mysteries of the the world and beyond into some sort of super reasoning and formulas.  I do think being a genius is the ultimate – cooooool. However if intelligence reigns supreme at the expense of the feeling faculties we shall suffer like we are a being out of balance who has tiny legs, arms and torso with a head that is too big for the body to carry around.
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the NEW DAWN
And now we rise.  It has been said for quite some time that a New World would come, the old would be washed away in the twinkling of an eye. The Feeling Beings are reading the stars, no not that intriguing Vedic Astrology that marks the descent of Kings, Gods and Goddesses. The heavens are alive, once perceived by some as dead and mysterious; the dreamers are reading them, the Astronomers look on in wonder and tell everyone “look up” the heavens are full of living entities. The Feeling Beings are watching nature, the creatures who are our brothers and sisters all have the wriggles, they are telling us great change is coming. But intellectual man feeds the media with its problems, its studies, its half-arsed knowledge and has not listened to the wisdom of others, those who protested the war in the 60’s, the logging and damming of rivers in the 70’s, the tree-huggers of the 80’s and all those who came later with their warnings of ‘you are going the wrong way’.
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There is a great separation going on, those that feel and dream a miraculous future at one end of the spectrum and those who fear and have no trust that the Heavens are alive and the beauteous Being that we live and move in and on, shall claim back what is hers.  She will shake her garment, raise her head nobly and those of us who LOVE will travel with her and go beyond the known limitations.
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May all beings Be Happy
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Tilopa 2.0

Embracing Fragility and Vulnerability

The societies we live in are crazy; and that is an over generous appraisal on my part.  We inhabit fractured communities on this wondrous planet, all disconnected from each other and the Eco systems we are intertwined with. The Earth is a living being who unfolds her beauty in Spring, in that season everything has a freshness and bounce in its step; in Summer the hot sun in the desert burns the Earth, only the strong survives but life abounds behind the scenes; Autumn drapes her fabric, colors unmatched, her beauty steals the heart of the onlooker; the bitter bite of Winter has us rushing for soup and wood-fired pizza and diving for cover under blankets. Underneath it all the canvas of the Living Silence maintains its equipoise hidden from all.
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Man and His Mad Agendas
Man has his missions to the Moon, to Mars; his agendas block, straighten or redirect the river, he flattens the hill to extend suburbia into native grasslands, in the process he makes his beloved brothers the animals homeless. Man in the news media tells us of the worst of human behavior and then gives a moments reprieve with trivia, celebrity bling and sport, dumbing down the masses, the man in politics supports the systems to keep everything just out of reach to break the back of the community, people become dependent on the broken system, one that was never designed to nurture it.  Politicians are meant to serve the people not control them and implement hideous agendas.
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The Empty Sky
The Buddha Mind does not belong to Buddhism, it is homeless like the biblical Son of Man having ‘no place to lay his head’.  The sky holds without holding, the Buddha Mind encases all that arises in it, lets it fall back into Emptiness, neither owning or disowning. The man of a lesser god judges, he doesn’t know the great Tao encases the play without a fuss, everything rises and falls into space, empires come and go.
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The world at times can push against us, our fragility can scream, we feel as if we are going to break.  If we have read the Zen classics we will know it is the hollow bamboo that bends in the wind, it is in Emptiness we find peace. We have seen and learnt war doesn’t end in peace, there is no relationship between the two. War is about two false concepts that have nowhere to go, they bash against each other, in a way enemies deserve each other, it’s a love hate relationship, love ones own opinion and hate the other. Peace and emptiness are essentially the same, neither of them DO anything, peace is always relaxing into itself, Emptiness is the canvas that holds the universe.  War is the fruit of those who don’t understand their innate nature and inter-connectedness.
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Coming Apart
In those moments when we are most vulnerable there is a natural feeling that we need to protect something, and this is a logical response.  But if we take some time to look closely we will see we have an IMAGINARY identity. We are educated into thinking a particular way, to have opinions, to make them known seems reasonable, to stand up for ourselves, some say our views define us, it makes us feel relevant. However, in an aggressive world those who can yell the loudest, be the biggest trickster, articulate ‘on the fly’ better than others are always the champions. It doesn’t mean that those people are wiser or have better world views, they are better salesmen at selling their version of reality. When someone feels like they are not heard, an internal argument lingers long after a discussion, it eats away at them. The assertive views of others can be like arrows that shoot through the aura that surrounds a sensitive being.
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Unbeknownst to many, the Sages don’t actually mind what people think or believe. This is because they have nothing to protect, when required they state what is there, what they see and is beyond doubt in that moment of timelessness, there is no conflict with the world.  Why argue with a rock or a doughnut, why go into conflict with somebody who looks through a tiny window and can’t see the whole landscape, who doesn’t know their place in the tapestry of foreverness?  The winning of an argument is for drunk men, politicians or philosophers in the park, slaves of soap box wisdom. The philosophers aren’t usually wise men, they are smart men on the way to being wise, critical thinkers, they have opinions, they are speculators not experiencers, they are at the middle or beginning on the journey of transformation. Opinions get in the way of super-consciousness
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The Eggshells of Life
Fragility is a good thing if we know how to work with it.  An eggshell is a protective layer, under it is a new life.  The trick with the fragility is to know how to use it, to know when to crack the egg open.  The new life that emerges when cracked will be vulnerable, will require some tender handling and protection.
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So how do we work with this, how can we be fragile, extremely vulnerable and still feel safe? How can we navigate harmlessly through a world full of what seems like predators, through the chaos of life on Earth which is at war with everything around it?
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Nature is a wondrous thing.  If we look around us we will see the trail and reminders of billions of years of existence.  The stars with their mysteries, we know from research by astronomers that galaxies are in the making; planets hang in space like the baubles on a Christmas tree.  When we look across the mysterious world we see Jonathan the 183 year old turtle who lives on the island of St Helena, he and his relatives have over time developed a shell to protect their tender bodies. The cactus in the desert with its prickles telling everyone to stay away; the birds wings give them an escape strategy and the chameleon saying ” I’m not here, you can’t see me”.  If we are sharp in out thinking and have the ability to look clearly at the world around us, I mean the world MINUS man, although we will see a pattern that resembles survival of the fittest, we will notice multitudinous species that have managed to navigate the ensnarement’s and the trial by fire of life.  In this vision of the world around us we can find wisdom, it becomes our guru.  Man has intelligence, he may come out second best when wrestling with a tiger but if we look at the worlds population of 7.5 billion people, the human entity is not doing too bad in the survival stakes.
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The Invisible Glue
There is something odd that happens to humans, there is an attitude of wanting to hold ourselves together, it’s not just about self preservation, it’s about our IMAGINARY self. Sure we have a body, it goes ouch ouch if we are silly enough to ride a bicycle with our eyes closed or if we get dumped in the surf by mistiming a wave, that’s a normal response.  But the vulnerability and fragility that I am talking about is different.  We may have a strong body and still feel fragile emotionally, we may have enough money but feel a sense of lack, we may present with wonderful social skills but still feel like we don’t fit in.
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So what to do? How to be free from the vulnerability and fragility? I know from life experiences that regardless what has gone on in my life, I am still here, my awareness is still intact, my bruises have come and gone, my heart has healed.  I have navigated decades, quietly slayed the enemies as they have blocked my path, met and danced with the ghosts of loved ones who have passed over, stood on the precipice and looked out into foreverness and felt totally insignificant, raised myself above things that would have normally broken most men and survived against all reasonable odds, and this why I write.  I understand beyond all doubt that the rise and fall of events on the screen of the world doesn’t ‘touch’ the observer of the passing show, the wondrous mystery of life.  And it is not that I don’t feel, do I feel? YES, my heart bleeds daily. But I understand that feelings and emotional responses are part of their own world.  Regardless what presents itself I continue to rest in the Silence; when I remember I jump to the part of myself that observes the events of my life.
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Awareness
Learning to ‘jump’ to different parts of ourselves is something we can practice.  It comes about by watching the movement of our feelings and emotions when we are alone.  It is the same process that some people use in meditation.  Taking time out to do this will change our lives, it teaches us to know when to enter or retreat in an unemotional way.  We need to be gentle on ourselves, we won’t always get it ‘right’.  We are learning to tame the dragon, not to slay it.  Understanding ourselves and being kind to ourselves is important.  Accepting that being vulnerable or fragile is the natural order of things, it teaches us to walk gently among others, when we are gentle on ourselves we learn to be a little kinder to others, to see their vulnerability, to know when to step back.
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Everything has a place.  We do not live in a world where ‘only the strong survive’, this comes from a militant mindset.  The gentle, the vulnerable, the wise have survived for eons, they are our teachers.  I bow in honor of you.
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May all Beings Be Happy

The Meaninglessness of Fame

There is an unnatural desire in man (the species) to want to be famous, to stand out, to receive accolades, be important, to be raised up above others. Having said this, I am not writing from what is known as ‘the tall poppy syndrome’, a type of sickness that wants to see others cut down if they are successful.  Achieving things is fine, going past our known potential and doing what may have been considered impossible, creating wondrous music, to excel at what we do, this is something that I consider as natural, to unfold something extraordinary in the human kaleidoscope is noble.
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The Big People Know Everything
When we are children we start to ‘look up’ to people, we are little, they are big, they have more experience in the world and looking out our tiny window we see that they can do and know many incredible things.  Depending on the experiences that happen to us and whether we are powered or dis-empowered by those who educate us, we gradually slot into a place in the community. In some cases in the past adults had an attitude of ‘children should be seen and not heard’.  This attitude has spawned generations of suppressed humans who feel like they are wearing a suit of armor two sizes too small with minimal joint movement. In some cases, in those moments when they escape the suit they often lose the plot and we see a trail of casualties of drug and alcohol abuse and other destructive behaviors.  And of course there are others who manage to surf the gigantic waves and ride safely to the shoreline and live out beautiful lives.
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The Leveler 
I discovered by accident years ago that all men and women are equal. Yes we hear that every day, there are documents in place, people spout it from pulpits in churches, the writers of political speeches throw it in every now for touchy feely effect to have you believe their brand loves everyone.  We have to come back to basics here and rip the idea of ‘all are equal’ apart.  Here’s how it works. I may be a barista, the worlds best, dreadlocks, hipster clothes, mice music oozing out from the vinyl on the stereo system, a smarty-pants walk, everybody loves me.  When I am making the worlds best coffee that has been carried by donkeys from deep in the jungles of Amazon,  I am doing my dharma (my natural calling and life purpose done with utmost integrity and virtue), at that moment I am invisible; when I am invisible God/ the totality of Being/ the Sublime Super Consciousness is flowing through my veins like water at the Iguazu Falls.  When it’s time to go home and I don my alpaca sweater, pick up my 1940’s typewriter and climb onto my solar powered bicycle, no longer am I the worlds best barista, I am just doing what I am doing, biking it down the road, giving the finger to motorists, smiling at the lay…deeees.
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Being able to TURN OFF who we believe ourselves to be is probably the second greatest secret there is.  There is an invisible hierarchy in all communities, and in many cases it’s not so invisible, it’s overt, in your face segregation into pockets of people who ‘know their place’.  I m reminded of a story from India.
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“There once was a man, well educated, had lived in the West for many years and went back to Bharat (India) to visit his family.  He ad a slight arrogance about him that often is seen on the faces of those who see academia as the pinnacle of civilisation.  He got to the river , climbed into the ferryman’s small rowboat. After about five minutes as the boat paddled across the waterway, in ‘exhibition of intelligence’ he opened out a newspaper. (NOTE: Prabhu is a term of respect.) The ferryman said “Prabhu, what is this?” The man gave a little exaggerated chuckle and said “What, you don’t know what that is, you poor fellow, it’s the New York Times, you have wasted a half of your life,missed so much, you don’t know much about life”.  The ferryman said “No, Prabhu I don’t what New York Times is, what does it say?”  The visitor said, “Hear take it, read it.” The ferryman said, “Prabhu, please could you read it to me?.” The visitor said, “what! you can’t read, you have wasted three quarters of your life”. Just then a storm came up, the visitor looked terrified.  The ferryman said, “Prabhu, what is troubling you?” The visitor said, “It is looking very stormy”, he started to shake as the boat rocked up and down.  The boatman looked at him and said, “Prabhu, can you swim?” The visitor shook his head implying that he couldn’t swim. Just then a massive wave hit the boat and as it was turning upside down, the ferryman said, “Prabhu, you have wasted your whole life”… We all value different things, we humans develop a sense of self-importance relating to our achievements.  The tragedy is if we don’t treat them respectfully they divide us, they allow us to feel greater or lesser than others.
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Cosmic Glue
The moon shines out in the night-sky, the planets, shooting stars and a few spacecraft from outside the Earth show themselves briefly and disappear; the night has a resonance about it, a ringing, a deep hum beneath it and occasionally it is broken by the noise of man.  The light of the moon is shared by the rich and poor, lovers, the lonely, the dreamers and the animals peeping out of their holes in the ground.  The Earth in it’s magnificent beauty holds us, its trees that add to its wondrous garment give shade to Sages, dacoits, the homeless and the athletes who need to rest their tired legs. We are bound together, our ancestors held hands with those of strangers we see in the street, the water running through our bodies was once part of something somewhere off in the skies… we are a part of the totality of all of nature and in our hearts our spirits are bound.
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Thought 
It is thought that divides us, everything else is bound together in nature. Molecules collide, they dance and although we can’t hear it they sing. The song of the bird although feint adds a sweetness to the day.  The discriminating mind has its benefits, it allows us to know that 7 pieces of pizza although desirable, will create a problem; walking backwards down the street will not be the immediate logical choice when we think it through.
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We know this ‘thought-thing’ we have can take us to heaven or hell, if we brood over something it can turn into anxiety or stress, if let something go without a fuss, things go smoother.  The ‘thought-thing’ that people usually (and erroneously) call the mind is the source of our discrimination.  We pull stories out of our memory banks that travel with us through our lives.  We have placed people where we think they belong.  There is a tendency to look up to people who have achieved great things, and in the community there is often a feeling of ‘better than’ the less fortunate, the illiterate, the homeless, those who behave in manners that are anti-social.  The poor look at the wealthy and often feel lack, doctors and lawyers are also held in high regard by the uneducated, their feeling of self-worth  can be challenged.  It’s this looking up and looking down that is at the heart of all our problems.
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Bringing a Sense of Order
If I come back to the idea of the dread-locked barista with his hipster clothes, when he goes home the Espresso machine gets turned off and it rests patiently awaiting to appease the needs of the taste buds of early-risers wanting their ‘hit’, the barista is just another hipster in torn jeans, doing his thing, breathing the air or puffing on his e-cigarette.  And after a long shift the doctor lays down his tools after achieving what centuries ago would have seemed a miracle and in some ways I guess it is; he once again becomes himself, a living breathing being with normal emotions, needs, desires, joys and he suffers the same hurts as any of the other brokenhearted, fears of death and other traumatic losses.
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By coming back to basics and seeing that in navigating the human experience we need each other; if a man is suffering, regardless whether he is rich or poor, whatever his cultural background, a healthy being reaches out with empathy, compassion, kindness. At the water-well we all need to quench our thirst equally, a smile is contagious like a yawn, and when we lay our bodies down at night to rest in the dream state, there is no-one higher or lower as we wander the star-fields.
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Tilopa 2.0