18 August 2009, 10:45 PM
A vow of silence is not just in spoken words but also in mental thoughts. A mantra helps force the mind into just a single thread of thought and focus on it. Living the presence means being one with the Self in the activity one is engaged in--be it walking, talking, thinking or just any other task.
It is possible to keep the mind thoughtless (even on a mantra) when we try to live the present moment, by just being aware of our breath, bodily functions, and the surroundings. Being aware is just what it is--to be conscious of what is happening, without participating in it with thoughts, words or action. One way to cultivate such awareness is to reduce the words in our thoughts and think only the core idea: our mind can understand our purpose in just a few words, half words even syllables. For example, a thought that uses the words "want this" can as well convey its purpose obtained by a long thought such as "I want to do this".
Brevity is the soul of wit, says the English proverb. Spiritually, the proverb could be: brevity is the wit of soul.
19 August 2009, 11:40 AM
Self-preservation requires the heightened sensitivity that is cultivated by the zen of being in the Zone.
This subject is of the greatest significance because whatever we do in life will be tested at the time of death.
What should be their position at that final moment?
At the time of death all the bodily functions mal-function and the mind is perturbed.
Thus disturbed by the bodily situation, one may not be able to remember their dharma (or self or ista-deva).
ie; A Vaishnava practices Bhakti-yogi so as to honor the Krishna's promise spoken in the Gita verse that says:
"And whoever, at the end of his life, quits his body, remembering Me alone, at once attains My nature. Of this there is no doubt."
A samurai desired to live & survive each skirmish.
A samurai's level of Self-preservation is part-and-parcel of the deepest core of self-identity [albeit, in the samurai's case is predicated of the social title/ego-construct of being the 'samurai'].
"Zen", or, "Being in the Zone" ---is what every Olympian athlete ruotinely strives for and acheives 'at-will' 'on-demand' & 'upon-a-moments-notice'.
The temple pujari lives a simply life without destractions [due to earlier realisations that the outer world is a phantasmagoria of stimulai that always distracts and causes sufferring and bindage to the ego's whimsical nature ~(the samurai also knew this)] ---The temple pujari is the apex of Zen in its absolute application.
Self-preservation requires that the aspirant be prepared if all attempts at "Zen", or, "Being in the Zone" are concluded or torn-away suddenly without due notice ---IOW, death befalls the aspirant ---but with the practice of Zen-like "Presence-of-mind":
Consciousness is not lost at the moment of death --[I do not here claim that this leads to moksha] --one must die consciously and when Zen-like "Presence-of-mind" is practiced over a lifetime, then one will find that the vagaries of the 'death-experience' walks at one's side with out trepidation.
19 August 2009, 11:43 AM
Considering that the 9 'Processes' of bonefide bhakti-Yoga are:
(1) hearing about the Lord,
(2) glorifying the Lord,
(3) remembering the Lord,
(4) serving the lotus feet of the Lord,
(5) worshiping the Lord,
(6) offering prayers to the Lord,
(7) serving the Lord,
(8) enjoying friendly association with the Lord, and
(9) surrendering everything unto the Lord.
These nine principles of devotional service—taken all together or one by one—help a devotee remain constantly in touch with God. In this way, at the end of life it is easy for the devotee to remember the Lord.
So, by extention, the Bhakti-yogi sees the value of the Zen-like "Presence-of-mind" by seeing reminders in daily-life of Bhakti-yogi's object of Devotion:
Sri Krishna’s “Aham(s)” from the Bhagavad-gita:
7.6—Of all that is material and all that is spiritual in this world, know for certain that I am both the origin and the dissolution.
7.7—There is no truth superior to Me. Everything rests upon Me, as pearls are strung on a thread.
7.8—I am the taste of water, the light of the sun and the moon, the syllable ffice:smarttags" />Om in the Vedic mantras; I am the sound in ether and Ability in man.
7.9—I am the original fragrance of the earth and I am the heat in fire. I am the life of all that lives,and I am the penances of all ascetics.
7.10—Know that I am the original seed of all existences, the intelligence of the intelligent, and the prowess of all powerful men.
7.11—I am the strength of the strong, devoid of passion and desire. I am sex life which is not contrary to religious principles.
7.12—Know that all states of being--be they of goodness, passion or ignorance--are manifested by My energy. I am, in one sense, everything, but I am independent. I am not under the modes of material nature, for they, on the contrary, are within Me.
7.13—Deluded by the three modes [goodness, passion and ignorance], the whole world does not know Me, who am above the modes and inexhaustible.
7.14—This divine energy of Mine, consisting of the three modes of material nature, is difficult to overcome. But those who have surrendered unto Me can easily cross beyond it.
7.15—Those miscreants who are grossly foolish, who are lowest among mankind, whose knowledge is stolen by illusion, and who partake of the atheistic nature of demons do not surrender unto Me.
7.16-17—Four kinds of pious men begin to render devotional service unto Me--the distressed, the desirer of wealth, the inquisitive, and he who is searching for knowledge of the Absolute. Of these, the one who is in full knowledge and who is always engaged in pure devotional service is the best. For I am very dear to him, and he is dear to Me.
7.18-19—All these devotees are undoubtedly magnanimous souls, but he who is situated in knowledge of Me I consider to be just like My own self. Being engaged in My transcendental service, he is sure to attain Me, the highest and most perfect goal. After many births and deaths, he who is actually in knowledge surrenders unto Me, knowing Me to be the cause of all causes and all that is. Such a great soul is very rare.
7.21-22—I am in everyone's heart as the Supersoul. As soon as one
desires to worship some demigod, I make his faith steady so that he can devote himself to that particular deity. Endowed with such a faith, he endeavors to worship a particular demigod and obtains his desires. But in actuality these benefits are bestowed by Me alone.
7.23—Men of small intelligence worship the demigods, and their fruits are limited and temporary. Those who worship the demigods go to the planets of the demigods, but My devotees ultimately reach My supreme planet.
7.24-25—Unintelligent men, who do not know Me perfectly, think that I, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, was impersonal before and have now assumed this personality. Due to their small knowledge, they do not know My higher nature, which is imperishable and supreme. I am never manifest to the foolish and unintelligent. For them I am covered by My internal potency, and therefore they do not know that I am unborn and infallible.
7.26—As the Supreme Personality of Godhead, I know everything that has happened in the past, all that is happening in the present, and all things that are yet to come. I also know all living entities; but Me no one knows.
7.30—Those in full consciousness of Me, who know Me, the Supreme Lord, to be the governing principle of the material manifestation, of the demigods, and of all methods of sacrifice, can understand and know Me, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, even at the time of death.
8.4-5—The physical nature, which is constantly changing, is called
adhibhuta [the material manifestation]. The universal form of the Lord, which includes all the demigods, like those of the sun and moon, is called adhidaiva. And I, the Supreme Lord, represented as the Supersoul in the heart of every embodied being, am called adhiyajna [the Lord of sacrifice]. And whoever, at the end of his life, quits his body, remembering Me alone, at once attains My nature. Of this there is no doubt.
9.4—By Me, in My unmanifested form, this entire universe is pervaded. All beings are in Me, but I am not in them.
9.5—And yet everything that is created does not rest in Me. Behold My Mystic opulence! Although I am the maintainer of all living entities. I am everywhere. I am not part of this cosmic manifestation. My ‘Self’ is the very source of creation.
9.6-11—Understand that as the mighty wind, blowing everywhere, rests always in the sky, all created beings rest in Me. At the end of the
millennium all material manifestations enter into My nature, and at the beginning of another millennium, by My potency, I create them
again. The whole cosmic order is under Me. Under My will it is automatically manifested again and again, and under My will it is
annihilated at the end. All this work cannot bind Me. I am ever detached from all these material activities, seated as though neutral. This
material nature, which is one of My energies, is working under My direction, producing all moving and nonmoving beings. Under its rule
this manifestation is created and annihilated again and again. Fools deride Me when I descend in the human form. They do not know My
transcendental nature as the Supreme Lord of all that be.
9.16—I am the ritual. I am the sacrifice. I am the offering to the ancestors. I am the healing herb. I am the transcendental chant. I am the Butter and the Fire and the Offering.
9.17—I am the father of this universe. I am the mother. I am the support and the grandsire. I am the object of knowledge. I am the purifier and the syllable ‘Om’. I am also the Rg, the Sama and the Yajur Vedas.
9.18—I am the goal. I am the sustainer. I am the master, the witness, the abode, the refuge, and the most dear friend. I am the creation and the annihilation. I am the basis of everything, the resting place and the eternal seed.
9.19—I give heat. I withhold and send forth the rain. I am immor-tality. I am also death personified. Both spirit and matter are in Me.
9.22—Those who always worship Me with exclusive devotion,
meditating on My transcendental form--to them I carry what they lack, and I preserve what they have.
9.24—I am the only enjoyer and master of all sacrifices.I am equal to all.
9.29—Whoever renders service unto Me in devotion is a friend, is in Me, and I am also a friend to him.
10.2—Neither the hosts of demigods nor the great sages know My origin or opulences, for, in every respect, I am the source of the demigods and sages.
10.4-5—Intelligence, knowledge, freedom from doubt and delusion, forgiveness, truthfulness, control of the senses, control of the mind, happiness and distress, birth, death, fear, fearlessness, nonviolence, equanimity, satisfaction, austerity, charity, fame and infamy--all these various qualities of living beings are created by Me alone.
10.6—The seven great sages and before them the four other great sages and the Manus [progenitors of mankind] come from Me, born from My mind, and all the living beings populating the various planets descend from them.
10.7—One who is factually convinced of this opulence and Mystic power of Mine engages in unalloyed devotional service; of this there is no doubt.
10.8—I am the source of all spiritual and material worlds. Everything emanates from Me.
10.9—The thoughts of My pure devotees dwell in Me, their lives are fully devoted to My service, and they derive great satisfaction and bliss from always enlightening one another and conversing about Me.
10.10—To those who are constantly devoted to serving Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me.
10.11—To show them special mercy, I, dwelling in their hearts, destroy with the shining lamp of knowledge the darkness born of ignorance.
10.19—My opulence is limitless.
10.20—I am the Supersoul seated in the hearts of all living entities. I am the beginning, the middle and the end of all beings.
10.21—Of the Adityas I am Visnu. Of lights I am the radiant sun. Of the Maruts I am Marici. Among the stars I am the moon.
10.22—Of the Vedas I am the Sama Veda. Of the demigods I am Indra, the king of heaven. Of the senses I am the mind. In living beings I am the living force [consciousness].
10.23—Of all the Rudras I am Lord Siva. Of the Yaksas and Raksasas I am the Lord of wealth [Kuvera]. Of the Vasus I am fire [Agni]. Of mountains I am Meru.
10.24—Of priests know Me to be the chief, Brhaspati. Of generals I am Kartikeya. Of bodies of water I am the ocean.
10.25—Of the great sages I am Bhrgu. Of vibrations I am the transcendental “Om”. Of sacrifices I am the chanting of the holy names [japa]. Of immovable things I am the Himalayas.
10.26—Of all trees I am the banyan tree. Of the sages among the demigods I am Narada. Of the Gandharvas I am Citraratha. Among perfected beings I am the sage Kapila.
10.27—Of horses know Me to be Uccaihsrava, produced during the churning of the ocean for nectar. Of lordly elephants I am
Airavata. Among men I am the monarch.
10.28—Of weapons I am the thunderbolt. Among cows I am the surabhi. Of causes for procreation I am Kandarpa, the god of love. Of serpents I am Vasuki.
10.29—Of the many-hooded Nagas I am Ananta. Among the aquatics I am the demigod Varuna. Of departed ancestors I am Aryama. Among the dispensers of law I am Yama, the lord of death.
10.30—Among the Daitya demons I am the devoted Prahlada. Among subduers I am time. Among beasts I am the lion. Among birds I am Garuda.
10.31—Of purifiers I am the wind. Of the wielders of weapons I am Rama. Of fishes I am the shark. Of flowing rivers I am the Ganges.
10.32—Of all creations I am the beginning and the end and also the middle. Of all sciences I am the spiritual science of the self. Among logicians I am the conclusive truth.
10.33—Of letters I am the letter A. Among compound words I am the dual compound. I am also inexhaustible time. Of creators I am Brahma.
10.34—I am all-devouring death. I am the generating principle of all that is yet to be. Among women I am fame, fortune, fine speech, memory, intelligence, steadfastness and patience.
10.35—Of the hymns in the Sama Veda I am the Brhat-sama. Of poetry I am the Gayatri. Of months I am Margasirsa [November-December]. Of seasons I am flower-bearing spring.
10.36—I am also the gambling of cheats. Of the splendid I am the splendor. I am victory. I am adventure. I am the strength of the strong.
10.37—Of the descendants of Vrsni I am Vasudeva. Of the Pandavas I am Arjuna. Of the sages I am Vyasa. Among great thinkers I am Usana.
10.38—Among all means of suppressing lawlessness I am punishment. Of those who seek victory I am morality. Of secret things I am silence. Of the wise I am the wisdom.
10.39—I am the generating seed of all existences. There is no being--moving or non-moving--that can exist without Me.
10.40—There is no end to My divine manifestations.
10.41—Know that all opulent, beautiful and glorious creations spring from but a spark of My splendor.
10.42—With a single fragment of Myself I pervade and support this entire universe.
11.32—Time I am, the great destroyer of the worlds.
12.6-8—I am the swift deliverer from the ocean of birth and death. Just fix your mind upon Me, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and engage all your intelligence in Me. Thus you will live in Me always, without a doubt.
14.3-4—The total material substance, called Brahman, is the source of birth, and it is that Brahman that I impregnate, making possible the births of all living beings. It should be understood that all species of life are made possible by birth in this material nature, and that I am the seed-giving father.
14.27—I am the basis of the impersonal Brahman, which is immortal, imperishable and eternal and is the constitutional position of ultimate happiness.
15.12—The splendor of the sun, which dissipates the darkness of this whole world, comes from Me. And the splendor of the moon and the splendor of fire are also from Me.
15.13—I enter into each planet, and by My energy they stay in orbit. I become the moon and thereby supply the juice of life to all vegetables.
15.14—I am the fire of digestion in the bodies of all living entities, and I join with the air of life, outgoing and incoming, to digest the four kinds of foodstuff.
15.15—I am seated in everyone's heart, and from Me come remembrance, knowledge and forgetfulness. By all the Vedas, I am to be known. Indeed, I am the compiler of Vedanta, and I am the knower of the Vedas.
15.18—I am transcendental, beyond both the fallible and the infallible, and because I am the greatest, I am celebrated both in the world and in the Vedas as that Supreme Person.
15.19—Whoever knows Me as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, without doubting, is the knower of everything. He therefore engages himself in full devotional service to Me, O son of Bharata.
18.19—According to the three different modes of material nature, there are three kinds of knowledge, action and performer of action. Now hear of them from Me.
18.29—O winner of wealth, now please listen as I tell you in detail of the different kinds of understanding and determination, according to the three modes of material nature.
18.63—Thus I have explained to you knowledge still more Confidential. Deliberate on this fully, and then do what you wish to do.
18.64—I am speaking to you My supreme instruction, the most confidential knowledge of all.
20 August 2009, 09:31 AM
"Mindfullness" is the flipside of the Japanese term "musheen" (no-mind) ---this is the goal of sitting meditation as performed by the Samurai. Why?
"Musheen" (no-mind) allowed the Samurai to be 'undistracted' when engaged in fighting. While the swords flashed-by and each fighter twists and turns ---the 'candle of the mind' is unflickering and all appears as slow motion ---the fighter's sense of self-preservation is free to counter-attack without 'missing a blink'.
If death comes it will come consciously during the pursuit of the 'fighter's' dharma [that's a good thing].
The smallest comforts are a vast incalculable benediction that must not be 'taken-for-granted' ---this sentiment of appreciation for all the facilities that are afforded to us "souls in the material world" is the goal of "being mindful and attentive to each moment of life" IOW, "Take time to smell the flowers" IOW, draw the attention inward toward, indeed, inward to the very same source of that attentive consciousness we call the Soul (or self or Ego-being etc).
Tai Chi exercise are the same Zen-like practice described above as "being mindful and attentive to each moment of life" in the midst of movement.
The reason I posted the Gita verses above arose out of the following personal experience:
After reading the Gita . . . oh, at that time, say, . . . 100 times ---I never cared to re-read two chapters, the 10th Chapter [and for different reasons, the first Chapter].
So, one day, while I stood at the door of the temple entrance, a doofy congregation member at the Temple ask me for the time-of-day, so I responded, 'If you need the time, look up at the clock tower down the street in plain view, It is Krishna's "Kala-rupa"' ---this is when I started to appreciate the 10th Chapter of the Gita for the first time.
The 10th Chapter of the Gita teaches "being mindful and attentive to each moment of life" as per Bhakti-yoga as per Krishna's personal revelation.
BTW, the 1st Chapter avoidence ended when I watched the Mahabharata Movie and came to appreciate anew the "Jiva(s)" who engaged in the pastimes of the closing days of Dwarpa-Yuga amidst the Royal Dynasty of Bharata-desha.
When you rest ---feel the comforting mercy.
When you have free time without care ---feel the comforting mercy.
When you are filled with helplessness ---feel the comforting mercy.
When you feel sad ---turn away and feel the comforting mercy.
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