In this fascinating and delightful transcribed exerpt from "Transformation of a Man", Ram Dass -- author of the seminal work Be Here Now -- describes some of his experiences as he travels around and explores India in the early 1960s, giving us true insight into the life and times of a spiritual seeker. Part of our ongoing partnership with The Love Serve Remember Foundation.
His big feet were just paddling along like a camel, and he was looking every other way, and he was always stepping around all of this stuff, and I could never figure it out. Now, as we got out of the big cities… in the big cities, you know, people look at you like, what kind of a nut are you? Barefoot in a cloth -- we know you’re a westerner, you know. Like, who are you kidding? But as you get out into the villages it’s much purer in India, and they still respect the spiritual endeavor, and the people would call, “Hey Babaji!” Which is, well, Baba means grandfather. It also means holy man. It’s usually given to Vaishnavites, which is the white cloth. And Babaji is sort of the affectionate title. In Yiddish it would be bubbala. [laughter] It’s the same thing. And so they call, “Babaji!” and I would always be embarrassed because I wasn’t a holy man. I was just wearing a white cloth. I was a western intellectual overage hippy looking to see what was going on in India. That’s who I was in my head, in my fixed model of myself.
And we got to these caves at Baneshwar;
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The following excerpt is from Chogyam Trungpa's classic and masterful text Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior. From the chapter on "Authentic Presence", Trungpa defines for us exactly what authentic presence is -- how it comes to be and how it affects ourselves and the world around us.
Achieving the realization of the universal monarch, which we discussed in the last chapter, is the fruition of developing what is called “the warrior’s authentic presence.” In Tibetan, authentic presence is "wong tong," which literally means a field of power. However, since this term refers to a human quality, we have loosely translated it here as authentic presence. The basic idea of authentic presence is that because you achieve some merit or virtue, therefore that virtue begins to be reflected in your being, your presence.
In The Art of Peace, Morihei Ueshiba -- the founder of the popular Japanese martial art aikido -- shares a collection of teachings that illustrate the real way of the warrior based on compassion, wisdom, fearlessness, and love of nature. Spirituality and Practice has called Morihei Ueshiba's The Art of Peace “poetic and profound". We're delighted to share an excerpt with you here.
The art of peace begins with you. Work on yourself and your appointed task in the art of peace. Everyone has a spirit that can be refined, a body that can be trained in some manner, a suitable path to follow. You are here for no other purpose than to realize your inner divinity and manifest your inner enlightenment, foster peace in your own life, and then apply the art to all that you encounter. One does not need buildings, money, power, or status to practice the art of peace. Heaven is right where you are standing and that is the place to train. All things material and spiritual originate from one source and are related as if they were one family. The present, past, and future are all contained in the life force. The universe emerged and developed from one source and we evolved through the optimal process of unification and harmonization.
This is how the universe came into being. There was no heaven, no earth, no universe -- just empty space. In this vast emptiness, a single point suddenly manifested itself. From that point, steam, smoke, and mist spiraled forth an aluminous sphere and the sacred sound of soo was born. As soo expanded circularly up and down, left and right, major and breath began, clear and uncontaminated. Breath developed life and sound appeared. Soo is the word mentioned in many world religions. All sounds and vibrations emanate from that word. Your voice is a very powerful weapon.
When you are in tune with the cosmic breath of heaven and earth, your voice produces true sounds. Unify body, mind, and speech and real techniques will emerge. The art of peace emanated from the divine form and the divine heart of existence. It reflects the true, good, beautiful, and absolute nature of creation and the essence of its ultimate grand design. The purpose of the art of peace is to fashion sincere human beings. A sincere human being is one who has unified body and spirit, one who is free of hesitation or doubt, and one who understands the power of words.
In this timeless and timely talk by the late and beloved Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, we are exposed to his deeply spiritual and simple truths, lessons and inspirations. Interspersed in the teachings are wonderful melodies composed by Rabbi Carlebach, who offers this profound yet simple truth: “When you see something wrong with the world you are the one to fix it”.
We hope you enjoy this wonderful program!
This recording offers the rare opportunity to listen to Thich Nhat Hanh deliver the teachings that inspired the creation of his best-selling and perhaps most well-known book Being Peace, considered a classic of contemporary religious literature. An assembly of 700 people gathered at Green Gulch Farm in Muir Beach, California, on November 3, 1985 to listen to the wisdom and guidance of this world-renowned Vietnamese Buddhist monk.
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