A most essential question
What convergence is there between the journey of the ascetic Tibetan yogi Milarepa and that of the little-known great French mystic of the Seventeenth Century, Madame Guyon ? between Ramana Maharshi and the famous sufi Al-Hallaj ? What is the common denominator between these extraordinary beings who, in such apparently dissimilar ways, climbed the rungs leading to the ultimate realization ? Is it not a question of the greatest importance, to conjecture about what is essential and what is of incidental value, about what is truly the core of a practice and what relates to a cultural context and epoch ?
One should recall that the primary goal of spiritual practice must be to recognize in meditation another state of being and consciousness which is independent from the tangible world and which can be found after death.
One will then realize that it is possible to exist without the support of a body and one will no longer have the same apprehension about losing one’s earthly envelope.
One makes excuses for oneself; lack of time in particular, is often mentioned; a pretext which does not hold up to examination because, if one wanted, judicious choice would eliminate, in favor of meditation, a great deal of secondary activities which are intrusive or pointless.
These activities, on reflection, may be seen as such… but one continues to do them nonetheless.
And so one sees some people who are accurately informed about Buddhism, who know well the need to unite morality, wisdom and mediation, smugly observing the rules of correct behavior, cultivating their intelligence by reading books and who nevertheless neatly refrain from practicing meditation.”
Jean Pierre Schnetzler
My hopes rose high, and I thought my evil days were at an end. I stood waiting for alms to be given unasked and for wealth to be scattered on all sides in the dust.
The chariot stopped where I stood. Your glance fell on me, and you came down with a smile. I felt that the luck of my life had come at last. Then all of a sudden you held out your right hand, saying, “What have you to give me?”
Ah, what a kingly jest was it to open your palm to a beggar to beg!
I was confused and stood undecided, and then from my wallet I slowly took out the least little grain of corn and gave it to you.
How great was my surprise when at the day’s end, I emptied my bag on the floor only to find a least little grain of gold among the poor heap!
I bitterly wept and wished that I had the heart to give you my all!
“Write the divine name opposite your bed so that in the morning, upon wakening, it is the first thing you see.
On rising, utter it with fervor and conviction, as the first word to leave your mouth and strike your ear.
In the evening on going to bed, once you have stretched out, stare at it as the last object you see before falling into slumber.”
Tierno Bokar (1875–1939) experienced calumny and persecution. His disciples were hunted down and imprisoned. And he had to face hostility from his own.
In the last days of his life, he said to the scarce few faithful who had not abandoned him:
“I advise you – and at the same time this is the last prayer I shall deliver individually and collectively to all those who are with me – not to curse or hate those who have attacked me and worked to condemn me. They were but the instruments of a Wisdom and force against which I could not have made a stand without blasphemy. What merit would there be if my life had passed without having made any enemies ?
Tierno Bokar (Théodore Monod – Terre et Ciel, Actes Sud p. 204)
“A sincere aspirant will not fail to notice to what point he is inhabited by all sorts of futile or harmful inner chatter, as well as by an interminable procession of worthless, negative or even destructive thoughts, aside from all the tricks his mind will think up to divert him from his goal. Hence, he might suggest to himself that this spiritual journey is too difficult and too thankless, or that because of health problems or important work which awaits him, it is not worth undertaking his spiritual practices for the moment and it is preferable to put them off to later, because the right time has not yet come to take up such a venture !
The seeker must realize that the right time will never come; he will always find good excuses for deferring to later the effort he should make in the present instant.”
Edward Salim Michael ”From the depths of the Mist”
“To see the world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour .”
A human being is part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest. A kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from the prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. The true value of a human being is determined by the measure and the sense in which they have obtained liberation from the self. We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if humanity is to survive. (Albert Einstein, 1954)
“The most beautiful and deepest experience a man can have is the sense of the mysterious. It is the underlying principle of religion…. He who never had this experience seems to me, if not dead, then at least blind. To sense that behind anything that can be experienced there is a something that our mind cannot grasp and whose beauty and sublimity reaches us only indirectly and as a feeble reflection, this is religiousness….one cannot help but be in awe when (one) contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. Albert Einstein
So that the seeker is assisted in his efforts to remain profoundly present and conscious of himself inside—a particular manner of being to which he is totally unused, but which proves to be necessary for what he seeks to accomplish in himself—the sense of mystery must remain alive in him, accompanying him everywhere and in everything he does: the mystery of this enigmatic silent call which makes itself felt in him at the most unexpected moments and which eludes him, the mystery of the Cosmos, the mystery of the aim of Creation, the mystery of his own life, of his consciousness, his mind, and so on.
Essentially, everything that exists in the manifested world is a mystery.
Is the world studied by science the only reality, or does it point to a deeper reality? Is nature a random and chance process, or a project with purpose? Can people be fully understood in terms of the natural sciences, or is there a transcendent dimension to human existence?
Jean Staune Science and the Search for Meaning
Jean Staune has degrees in the philosophy of science, mathematics, paleontology, political science, computer science, and management. He is the founder and general secretary of the Interdisciplinary University of Paris and an assistant professor in philosophy in one of Europe’s prominent business schools, the MBA program of the HEC. He has been an invited teacher in two Pontifical universities and in China’s Shandong University.
As the organizer of some of the most important meetings in science and religion in Europe, Jean Staune is in a core position to report on the dialogue between science and religion, primarily from the views of scientists
Ram Bahadur Bomjon (born c. 9 April 1990, sometimes spelt Bomjan, Banjan, or Bamjan), also known as Palden Dorje (his monastic name) and now Dharma Sangha, is from Ratanapuri village, Bara district, Nepal. Some of his supporters have claimed that he is a reincarnation of the Buddha, but Ram himself has denied this, and many practitioners of Buddhism agree that the Buddha has entered nirvana and cannot be reborn.
He drew thousands of visitors and media attention by spending months in meditation. Nicknamed the Buddha Boy, he began his meditation on 16 May 2005. He reportedly disappeared from the hollow tree where he had been meditating for months on 16 March 2006, but was found by some followers a week later. He told them he had left his meditation place, where large crowds had been watching him, “because there is no peace”. He then went his own way and reappeared elsewhere in Nepal on 26 December 2006, but left again on 8 March 2007. On 26 March 2007, inspectors from the Area Police Post Nijgadh in Ratanapuri found Bomjon meditating inside a bunker-like ditch seven feet square.
On 2 August 2007, Bomjon addressed a large crowd in Hallori jungle in Bara district of southern Nepal. The Namo Buddha Tapoban Committee, which is devoted to looking after Bomjon, assembled the meeting.
« When doubts haunt me, when disappointments stare me in the face, and when I see not one ray of light on the horizon, I turn to the Bhagavad Gita, and find a verse to comfort me; and I immediately begin to smile in the midst of overwhelming sorrow. My life has been full of tragedies and if they have not left any visible and indelible effect on me, I owe it to the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita.” (Young India: June 8, 1925)
Gandhi Bombay 1944
I am prepared to die, but there is no cause for which I am prepared to kill. Gandhi
Albert Einstein said about him :
“Generations to come will scarce believe that such a one as this ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth.”
Become like a child,
become deaf and blind!
Your own ‘I’
must be destroyed
Every ‘something’ and every ‘nothing’ must be lost!
Let go of space, let go of time,
get rid of any image!
Tread, without a way,
The narrow path:
then you will find the trace in the desert.
Oh my soul,
get out, God in!
My entire ‘something’ may sink
into God’s ‘nothing’.