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Cherish your winters: Remembrance of a old winter, five years past. Read an old post here about beauty in winter
For a more Zen experience, read my poetry series :The Awakening of Silence
Shadow Wall Gazing

As hard as it is for ones mind to be come still. the process only gets worse when to try to force your mind into stillness- a state of having no identification with your thoughts.


I tried my hand at wall gazing as in Chan or the Zen School, and found my self getting absolutely nowhere. One is supposes to sit erect facing a fall and just start perceiving non-duality by realizing the wall is staring back at you.


I tried to do wall-gazing for the past 2 days. and today something strange happened. i was sitting facing the wall, and apparently there was a window behind my back and the sunlight was just flooding into the room.and i noticed something , a shadow was being cast on the wall before me, and the shadow was a very hazy one, i could actually see many layers of the shadow being superimposed on each other. and there i was looking at a very opaque but not sharp image of mine. it was very unexpected , and i started to observe the shadow , and i notice that i could sit there and just gaze at the shadow for a really long time. I guess the mind it self just gave up arguing and complaining about a shadow of the very body which it had successfully deluded to be identified with it. At last! victory of the identification and the conditioning, albeit a very temporary one. but the fruits of such a dis-identification are very high indeed.


and so i have been shadow-wall-gazing for sometime today, and i feel its a great exercise to attain stillness , especially when the mind is very very restless.

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Daiva Dasakam or Ten Verses To the Infinite is a prayer penned by Sri Narayana Guru circa 1914.


"Happiness is the primary quest of man. Happiness indeed is the supreme end of all spiritual and mundane human endeavors. The human soul finds its greater joys in the shining happiness of the abiding and the everlasting rather than in the momentary pleasures of the senses. The grand journey of the soul is towards this great goal. The attainment of this goal gains in fullness as human communities grow in inner improvement.

In a community gaining physical, moral and spiritual prosperity, religious institutions and observances are seen to have been of great help. Such institutions therefore could serve a purpose. But all these can be sustained only by the economic well being of the community. With this in view, agriculture, trade and technology have to be developed and improved

The worldly and the spiritual are not diverse or contradictory; but are directed to the same end As the well-being of the body is achieved when all its limbs function in unison, so does it require for mankind to attain its supreme goal of abiding Happiness, all worldly and spiritual activities are tuned into perfect coordination."

-Sree Narayana Guru


Saint, seer and reformer Sree Narayana Guru whose mortal life spanned the last two centuries (1856 – 1928) was borne in the southwest Indian state of Kerala. Sree Narayana Guru is singular in the philosophy and manner through which he has ever so silently brought about a deep running qualitative transformation in the way men live. This process is still continuing. His presence and vision have been historically unique in the way they have been influencing and transforming the life and outlook of the whole region cutting across all segments of religion, race, believes, economic status and political orientation. The core of his philosophy is that Knowledge that leads to inner transformation of man bringing about the achievement of happiness for one and all is fundamental to all human achievements irrespective of the manner and methods that the individuals and groups may adopt.


Daiva Dashakam

God! keep us ever in Thy succor Forsake us not here my Lord Thou the Mariner and Thy foothold Sure vessel on rough seas of life!

Reckoning one and then one, to infinity- When names and numbers are all done, Like unto the serene Eye remaining, In Thee, let our inner self subside.

With grub and garb all providing Who for ever us in fullness keep With no lapse or miss to intervene Thou indeed art our bounteous Lord

Let this in conviction sink, that as feel of ocean, To the waves and wind and fathomless deep do link So we, to illusory Nature, Thy splendor And Thy transcendent Truth, do link.

Confined or free, existence all with thy splendour is full. Such my Lord is Thy Being! This Thy surpassing Glory do we praise! Hail to Thee! Hail! Perfect Being!

Thou the creation, Thou the Creator And Thou the manifold magic of creation And Thou Great Lord art the Stuff All that is with which is wrought

Truth Thou Art, Knowledge and Bliss! Thou Lord Art the present and so the past And the future is none other but Thou. Thou indeed is known as the conceiving word!

Thou Art the Divine Apparition And the one who go on playing this And Thou the one to relish this game And Great Sun, wiping all who Supreme Unison grants.

Hail to thee Oh God Supreme! Hail! Thou who ever from affliction lift! Hail to thee pure existence-bliss! Hail great ocean of grace!

May we all Lord in the waters of thy Glory merge That go on deepening without ever an end So merging may we remain with never an end And May Infinite Happiness in fullness live !

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Eight Verses for Training the Mind
by Geshe Langri Tangpa (1054-1123)



Verse I

With the heartfelt desire and determination to attain enlightenment
For the welfare of all living beings, who are more precious than a
Wish-fulfilling jewel for accomplishing the supreme goal,
May I always cherish them and hold them dear.

Verse II

Whenever I am with others
May I think of myself as the lowest of all
And from the very depths of my heart
May I respectfully hold others as supreme.



Verse III

In all actions, may I closely examine my state of mind,
And the moment a disturbing emotion or negative attitude arises,
Since this may cause harm to myself and others,
May I firmly face and avert it.



Verse IV

Whenever I meet people of unpleasant character
Or those overwhelmed by negativity, pain or suffering,
May I cherish and care for them as if I had found
A rare and precious treasure difficult to find.



Verse V

Whenever others, because of their jealousy, treat me badly
With abuse, insult, slander, or in other unjust ways,
May I accept this defeat myself
And offer the victory to others.



Verse VI

When someone whom I have benefited
Or in whom I have placed great trust and hope,
Harms me or treats me in hurtful ways without reason,
May I see that person as my precious teacher.



Verse VII

In brief, may I offer both directly and indirectly all help,
Happiness and benefit to all beings, my mothers,
And may I secretly take upon myself
All of their harmful actions, pain and suffering.



Verse VIII

May I keep all of these practices undefiled by stains of the eight worldly
Concerns (gain/loss, pleasure/pain, praise/blame, fame/dishonor),
And by recognizing the emptiness and illusory nature of all existing things,
May I be liberated from the bondage of attachment and mistaken views of reality.


---*---

Eight Verses for Training the Mind is a highly-revered text from the Mahayana Lojong (mind training) tradition. These instructions offer essential practices for cultivating the awakening mind of compassion, wisdom, and love.
As we practice these lojong teachings in daily life, we train the mind to embrace reality in a completely wholesome, wise, and compassionate way.By way of these treasured practices we eliminate our competitive, selfish, and reactive nature, as well as our false and exaggerated concepts of self (also called self-grasping and self-cherishing). It is important to understand that the greed, jealousy, anger, pride, selfishness, and attachment, which cause us so much suffering, are actually misperceptions of reality, not inherent conditions of our mind. Therefore, these precious lojong practices can purify our misperceptions and delusions completely, revealing the natural radiance, clarity, wisdom, and compassion of our true nature.


Source for the Translations and text : http://www.buddhadharma.org/EightVerses/
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The devil and his Friend

The devil went for a walk with a friend, They saw a man ahead of them stop down and pick up something from the ground.

"What did that man find?" asked the friend. "A piece of Truth" , said the devil. "Doesn't that disturb you ?" asked the friend. "No," said the devil, "I shall let him make a belief out of it,and that shall create another new religion."




"A religious belief is a signpost pointing the way to Truth. When you cling to the signpost you are prevented from moving towards the Truth Because you think you have it already." - Anthony De Mello
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Note: This the first post in the series entitled "The Tree of Life"

The First Leaf in our Tree of Life is The Art of Welcoming the Dawn

Waking up is an art in itself. The way you spend the first few minutes after you wake up influences your mind for the rest of the day .

Lama Surya Das is a renowned dzogchen teacher in the west, he is also the author of the book - 'Natural Perfection - Essential Teachings , Meditations and Chants from the dzogchen tradition of Tibetan Buddhism ' . This is a Book(and an Audio Book) i highly recommend to my readers.
Lama Surya Das says that the first thing one must do as one wakes up is to just sit stratight spread your hands high and wide apart and stretch them as apart as you can , take a deep breath in and just breathe out saying 'AAHHHHH".

Thast it ! All you have to do just say 'Aahhh'. When i first heard Lama Surya Das say this i said well that's just child's play! and so i did it the next day and believe it or not some thing magical happens in you. There is something deeper to this very simple exercise, its the act of showing the universe that 'Aahhh' yes i have woken up and i embrace life. The fact is you don't even have to say the meaning of this to your self. This simple act just is a way of conveying beyond words your presence and aliveness to the outer world.And when you do that you will feel it , a feeling that cannot be put down in words. A little something that leaves you with a feeling of joy for the precious life that you have ,for the rest of the day.


His Holiness The Dalai Lama has this advice to give about waking up. Every day, think as you wake up, 'Today I am fortunate to have woken up, I am alive , I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others, to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings, I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am going to not going to get angry or think badly about others, I am going to benefit others as much as i can.'
This simple act just is a way of focusing presence and awareness to your inner world.

-- Sachin Modeel
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