Saturday, February 13, 2010

A Little Watts

Zen does not confuse spirituality with thinking about God while one is peeling potatoes. Zen spirituality is just to peel the potatoes.

Alan Watts

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Tao Te Ching

If you realize that all things change,
there is nothing you will try to hold onto.
If you aren't afraid of dying,
there is nothing you can't achieve.

Trying to control the future
is like trying to take the master carpenter's place.
When you handle the master carpenter's tools,
chances are that you'll cut your hand.

Tao Te Ching
translation by Stephen Mitchell

Monday, June 1, 2009

Back Again

To all who read this blog (not really sure if there is anyone but me!) my apologies for not updating it with excellent spiritual or philosophical content!

Here is something that comes from the monthly newsletter of Savitr and Usas Ishaya. It is an excerpt from a book called Lord of Light, which I have not yet read, but plan to. . . . Enjoy! . . and if you do happen to read this blog feel free to drop a line or a comment!

To speak is to name names, but to speak is not important. A thing happens once that has never happened before. Seeing it, a man looks upon reality. He cannot tell others what he has seen. Others wish to know, however, so they question him saying, “What is it like, this thing you have seen?” So he tries to tell them. Perhaps he has seen the very first fire in the world, so he tells them, “It is red, like a poppy, but through it dance other colors. It has no form, like water, flowing everywhere. It is warm, like the sun of summer, only warmer. It exists for a time upon a piece of wood, and then the wood is gone, as though it were eaten, leaving behind that which is black and can be sifted like the sand. When the wood is gone, it too is gone.”

Therefore, the hearers must think reality is like a poppy, like water, like the sun, like that which eats and excretes. They think it is like to anything that they are told it is like by the man who has known it. But they have not looked upon fire. They cannot really know it. They can only know of it. But fire comes again into the world, many times. More men look upon fire. After a time, fire is as common as grass and clouds and the air they breathe. They see that, while it is like a poppy, it is not a poppy, while it is like water, it is not water, while it is like the sun, it is not the sun, and while it is like that which eats and passes wastes, it is not that which eats and passes wastes, but something different from each of these parts or all of these together. So they look upon this new thing and they make a new word to call it. They call it “fire.”

If they come upon one who still has not seen it and they speak to him of fire, he does not know what they mean. So they, in turn, fall back upon telling him what fire is like. As they do so, they know from their own experience that what they are telling him is not the truth, but only a part of it. They know that this man will never know reality from their words, though all the words in the world are theirs to use. He must look upon the fire, smell of it, warm his hands by it, stare into its heart, or remain forever ignorant.

Therefore “fire” does not matter, “earth” and “air” and “water” do not matter. “I” do not matter. No word matters. But man forgets reality and remembers words. The more words he remembers, the cleverer do his fellows esteem him. He looks upon the great transformations of the world, but he does not see them as they were seen when man looked upon reality for the first time. Their names come to his lips and he smiles as he tastes them, thinking he knows them in the naming.

The thing that has never happened before is still happening. It is still a miracle. The great burning blossom squats, flowing, upon the limb of the world, excreting the ash of the world, being none of these things I have named and at the same time all of them, and this is reality – the Nameless

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Hole

The following story is posted here with permission from Savitr and Usas Ishaya ( It is inspired by a story from Second Thunder by MSI. I hope you enjoy it!
The Hole
Jake stood by the hole. He no longer felt young: His arms ached, his back felt like a tangle of
bad-tempered adders that had been tossed into a slow fire, and his toasted shoulders were
threatening a blistery revenge by morning. But he had done it! The Vision in his heart had told him to come to this specific part of his drought-wracked borough—no sane person could have picked a less likely spot—to dig for water.
The unmistakable pile of shells and cornhusks, dumped off after someone’s backyard clambake, had matched the one in his revelation exactly. And so he had dug. And dug. And dug some more. For hours, for days he had dug, propelled beyond the possibility of failure by the assurance that his heart did not lie. For days of hours he had endured the mockery of passersby laughing through parched lips at this fool digging in the garbage dump of their capital city: Imagine expecting to find water in a refuse heap!
But his Vision hadn’t told him he would find water in the garbage midden: it had said he would
find water below it. And so he had dug, with infinite patience and one-pointedness, through layer
after layer, stratum after stratum, of filth and litter and cast-off relics, giving them no more
thought than he gave to the buzz of traffic in the distant city. And relatively shortly—amazingly
shortly, actually—his shovel had struck first muck, then ooze, then clear cool water flowing
abundantly from a subterranean spring. After a heartfelt prayer of joy and thanks, Jake built
himself a modest little shanty next to his hole, then settled down to enjoy the fruits of his labor.
Soon Jake’s “yard” was crowded with people who had come to drink from his hole. This was
fine at first, for he was a generous person and saw no reason not to share his bounty. But then the quibbling started: those closest to the hole would refuse to give up their places, even when they were sated, as though proximity to the hole itself gave them some sort of splashier-than-thou status; others were debating about whose drink had been the most pure, or who had drunk the most, or who was the most satisfied; one committee of oddly-robed men even approached Jake with a proposal to put a thick wall around themselves and the hole, with openings through which they could pass measured amounts of water to “the deserving.” The muck fights were the final straw. Jake had placed no restrictions on who could come to share his water; but as their issues escalated beyond self-control, they began scooping up huge handfuls of compost—the half-decayed excrement of their ancestors—and throwing it at each other. Even Jake wasn’t immune to these malodorous missiles; but worse, hundreds of poorly aimed muckballs were finding their way into the hole and beginning to fill it up again.
Jake realized it was time for the next step: “Look, you folks seem to have forgotten why you’re here, and you’re mucking up a good thing for everybody. I dug this hole because my heart told me there was water here, and I also know there’s plenty more to be found. So it’s time for you all to stop wasting your time, and dig your own holes; maybe you’ll learn to value the water as I did, as a result of your commitment.”
“But Jake,” they said, we’ve never dug a hole; we wouldn’t even know how to begin!”
“It’s easy,” he replied: “I’ll teach you.”
Soon the refuse site was a hive of activity as the more adventuresome set to their projects: Theless bold had simply taken what water they could and gone home, grumbling amongst themselves about “tainted water” and “control issues” and “cultism.”
The excavations began with a great deal of enthusiasm. The digging wasn’t difficult, and Jake
made sure that each seeker had the full benefit of his experience. It wasn’t long, however, before
early signs of discouragement began to set in:
“Jake, your hole is so splendid and your water so clear! And mine is so pitiful; it will never be
like yours.” --“Just keep digging. This is only your, what, sixth shovelful?”
“This is so frustrating, Jake! I just keep hitting garbage. Didn’t you have some special way of
pushing through all this?” --“No, I just dug. The three feet of garbage you’ve already excavated
is hardly a major obstacle, but it’s three feet you won’t have to dig again.”
“Jake, that person over there is digging through clamshells, just like in your Vision. I don't seem
to be getting anything but cucumber peelings and old comic books.” --“Those are first editions
of Superman and Batman. Don’t compare; just focus on your own goal. Um, can I borrow one
of those?”
“Jake! Over here! Look at these biscuit-thingies I found: are they important?” --“According to
this brochure that was under them, they’re sample cookies left over from a ‘Flour of Life’
Workshop. I’ve been told they’re very tasty, but most people waste a lot of time trying to figure
out how to digest them. I recommend you just keep digging.”
“Jake, I bought every book I could find on digging holes, and I now consider myself an expert on
all twenty-seven methods. I really can’t say that your system has yielded any better results than the others.” --“You’ve also dug 27 holes, one foot deep. May I suggest that if you had dug one hole, twenty-seven feet deep, you’d be a lot closer to your goal?”
And so it went. To Jake’s practiced eye, he could see that everyone was making excellent
progress, and that the abundant source of water was there for all of them. But one by one they
became discouraged and began to fall away. Many became frustrated at the amount of garbage
they were having to dig through, as though the parched, rocky soil outside the dump would
somehow be preferable. Some began to doubt that the water would be there for them no matter
how deep they dug (“Oh, I just know I’ll never get there; I’ll be the last one, and I’ll still never
get there”).
Another group found a cache of jewels, evidently hidden in a dumpster by some thieves who
didn’t make it back to their stash before the garbage truck arrived and unknowingly hauled it to
the dump. The new recipients were so excited by their find that they forgot all about Jake, their
hole, and the water, and ran off to exalt in their newfound treasure. According to reports that
filtered back, they all died of thirst while celebrating their wealth.
One excavator-turned-entrepreneur proved to be a major distraction for several others, by urging them to leave off digging and purchase solar stills that he had made: “It’s so easy! You just dig a small hole about a foot across, and put this bowl into it; then you put the membrane over the hole, making sure the low spot is over the bowl. Then you simply urinate all around the hole and let the sun do its work. And you can do it in your own garden, as well!” The onlookers dutifully contributed moisture from their own bladders for the purpose of the demonstration, but became suspicious when, a few hours of patient ‘distillation’ later, they had to hold the entrepreneur down and force him to drink the contents of his own still. They left him to commiserate with the flies that had seemed to gather in great numbers during the demonstration.
Gradually more and more people, mumbling one excuse or another, left to drown their
discouragement at the closest pub; still others, embarrassed at the apparent failure of their initial enthusiasm, crept off in the night. Which was a shame, because the handful of diggers who were still there the next morning could see water beginning to seep into their holes—and into the
abandoned ones as well. Needless to say, they grabbed their shovels and dug deeper.
_ _ _ _ _
In checking the records, there is some confusion as to how this story ends. According to one
account, the Waterworks Department—still a major bureaucracy in spite of not having provided
anything liquid to anyone in several decades—showed up in force on the third day and declared
the entire excavation a hazardous waste site. Several mid-level management types reportedly
accosted Jake as the Chief Offender and strung him up on the crossbars of a broken and discarded goalpost, to the cheers of a hastily gathered crowd. The mob reportedly contained an unusual number of drunken ex-excavators complaining noisily about the imaginary blisters on their hands.
Another account states just as certainly that Jake’s crew simply kept digging, until the infilling
water dissolved the walls of each individual tunnel and there was only one large crystalline pool,
with a fountain of pure liquid beauty at its center. Oddly, the omnipresent garbage is reputed to
have disappeared entirely, or to have transformed into the verdant foliage and animal life that
(reportedly) appeared overnight. Jake and his fellow ‘garbage-divers,’ as they were mockingly
called, were last seen sporting joyously in the abounding (one could almost say—infinite?)
waters: in the next instant, nobody was there at all.
A third account simply records the two previous stories, and cryptically states there is no
difference. Well, Well, dear reader, is that too deep? Or do you dig?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Opening the Door by MSI

The rewards of the development of consciousness are limitless – every area of life is beneficially affected by the growth of full human awareness. There is no problem, physical, emotional, mental or spiritual that cannot be reduced and eventually resolved as an individual moves more and more toward complete consciousness. Why this must be so may not be immediately clear. The problems of life are multi-fold and extreme. How can any one thing affect all areas of life?

Consider our daystar. The Sun, a thermonuclear fusion fire some 96 million miles from the Earth, brings light to all Earth’s creatures by day, chasing the darkness from every corner of our lives. Just so, there is a light within our minds, a light we variously call our consciousness, our spirit, our Self, our soul. This inner awareness acts in our individual lives like the Sun acts for our Earth. This inner consciousness is the root of the tree of our life, the basis of all that we think, all that we perceive, all that we feel, all that we do. Calling the inner light the root of the tree of our life is reminiscent of the metaphorical passage in the Bible about Eden and the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

This passage has, as has so much of the world’s scripture, been interpreted from the waking state of consciousness – with rather unfortunate results. The Tree in either case – as the Tree of Life or as the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil – is the human nervous system. When it is used properly, it functions as the Tree of Life, bringing health and life and all good things to the human being. When the human ego (the serpent) is drawn into the experience of duality, the emotional nature (Eve principle) eats of the apple of duality, and the rational mind (Adam principle) follows – the individual perceives duality, feels hot and cold, believes in good and bad. In this state, the nervous system loses its innocent perception of immortality and becomes the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. In this state of judging, dualistic life necessarily ends in death. A house divided against itself cannot long endure. It will rot, it will decay, it will fall. If we live by the two-edged sword of judgment, we will surely die by it.

It is not difficult to restore the proper functioning of the nervous system – it is only necessary to take the poisoned apple of duality back out of the mouth. To do this, the requirement is to stop listening to the serpent, the desires of the ego that lead in the direction of duality. There are two voices inside every human – the first speaks for the ego and leads to judgement, to fear, to defense, to the continuance of ignorance; the second speaks for the Ascendant and leads to clear perception, to love, to invincibility, to Self-realization.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Hawaiian Retreat!

Hawaii retreat now scheduledOn the Big Island!

Ishayas’ Ascension retreat will be held at the Yoga Oasis on the Big Island of Hawaii. This beautiful retreat is nestled on 26 acres of lush rain forest surrounded by coconut palms, papaya, banana, mango, avocado and macadamia nut trees and a vast array of colorful, fragrant flowering plants. Sun, occasional rain showers and a temperature range from a perfect 65 to 85 degrees year round. Running on solar power only, it is in a secluded private sanctuary about 5 miles from Pahoa, 45 minutes from Hilo Airport.Set aside all your cares and experience a true vacation. With Ishayas' Ascension, the mind rests, so the body rests. Simultaneously, consciousness expands and the by-product is stress relief.
Hawaii Retreat
January 23 – February 2, 200910 nights
The retreat begins on Friday January 23 at 7 pm with dinner. For the next seven days, you will rest and ascend at the Yoga Oasis Retreat Center. Fresh local produce and fresh local fish are served.After a day of inward movement, we have dinner and meet together. The meetings help to expand your practice of Ascension and integrate Ascension into your daily life. On Saturday, January 31st and February 1st, we will have breakfast and tour the Big Island. While touring the scenic wonders, you will have the opportunity to practice open-eyed Ascension and further integrate the practice into your daily life. Options abound to enjoy on the Big Island, including black sand beaches, Volcano National Park, Botanical gardens, or watching fresh lava flowing from active volcanoes, and much more. On Monday, February 2, we depart following breakfast.
Price includes:
10 nights of lodging
7 days of Ascension Retreat, all meals included
2 days of touring the Big Island, breakfast and transportation included
Transportation to and from Hilo Airport.
(Airfare not included)
For more information contact the Teachers of the Ishayas' Ascension at 1-888-474-2921 or

Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Idiot and the Sage

Here is a wonderful story presented by MSI that can be found in the book Ascension.

"One day, God came walking through the world to see how his children were faring. He came upon an old ascetic who had spent his entire adult life in severe bodily mortification and forceful mental disciplines.

The ascetic had gained a certain degree of clarity of his senses from his prolonged practice and realized that the man casually walking by his cave was fully established in awareness of the inner Divine Self. Painfully unwinding his body from his rigid posture, the ascetic bowed before God and said, "Great-Souled One! I perceive you are an illumined master. Pray tell me, honorable sir, how long it will be before I realize my inner Divine Nature?"

God smiled warmly and laughingly replied, "You are doing well, my son! At your present rate of progress, you will realize your inner Divine Self with just one more lifetime of similar effort."
The ascetic, terrified, in shock, cried, "Another lifetime of this horror? How can I endure this boredom, this agony, this pain for another day, let alone another lifetime! How horrible! You have cursed me this day! Be gone from this place, you imposter! Never would I believe such as you."

God smiled lovingly at him and walked on. Soon He came upon an idiot splashing in the river, laughing and singing. This man’s primary activity every day was to cry out, "God! How I love God! God! I love God! God!" This foolish one never took the slightest care for his physical needs, never cared if he were fed, clothed, housed. He never noticed if he were clean or dirty, hot or cold, wet or dry. He might have been locked up in a padded cell in our modern age, but in those days, people saw that he was harmless and therefore tolerated him and occasionally gave him a crust of bread or some old, half-rotten fruits or vegetables to eat.

The idiot was attracted by the radiance of this handsome stranger, came up out of the water, bowed before him and said, "How wonderful! God has sent by a Great-Souled One. I have been enjoying myself so much of late I had nearly forgotten I have a goal. I began my quest to realize enlightenment long ago but of late have become distracted by this constant joy welling up inside. Seeing you just now reminded me of my journey and I was wondering if you could tell me how long it will be before I realize my inner Divine Nature?"

God smiled warmly and laughingly replied, "You are doing well, my son! At your present rate of progress, you will realize your inner Divine Self with just seventy more lifetimes of similar effort."

"Seventy lifetimes of similar effort!" cried the idiot with perfect joy. "How wonderful! What a flawless boon you have today bestowed upon me, Great Lord!" The idiot was so filled with joy at the prospect of another seventy lifetimes of such bliss that the last doubt fled from his mind; his last question melted into the joy that was his life; his ignorance was irrevocably crushed; he attained the highest state of enlightenment instantly."

We on Earth commonly think there are three kinds of time: the past, the present and the future. We often guide our actions largely on the basis of regret for our past actions and missed opportunities or from concern for our future well-being. The problem with living for the future is that the future never arrives. It doesn’t exist except as an invented concept. There is only NOW—now extends in all places and at all times. The past does not exist, either: there was, before this instant, an unbroken succession of Now moments; there will be in the future an unbroken succession of Now moments. Now, the present, is the only time there is, the only time there has ever been, the only time there will ever be.

This is why it is so absurdly easy to gain enlightenment—the Infinite light is already here, now, within the grasp of each of us. Nothing more is required than ceasing the attempt to live in the past or the future. The Sun is always shining; we have only to stop identifying with the clouds passing in front of it to be free.

The unhappy ascetic was not enjoying the present; he was continually hoping to realize his Self in the future. Therefore the prospect of even one more moment of such torture was agonizing. The happy idiot, on the other hand, thoroughly enjoyed each and every instant—he was filled with joy at the thought of continuing his ecstatic present. The additional rush of joy through his already bliss-saturated nervous system was more than the last of his ego’s weakened belief system could withstand—the old limitations in his mind, already largely discarded, were destroyed—the Infinite light of the Now burst through him, upward and out, transforming his life permanently. His eyes fully opened for the first time; he recognized God standing before him. The newly enlightened one bowed before his Lord and cried his gratitude and joy to the Source of all that is.

We human beings have an unfortunate habit of unnecessarily complicating our lives. Love is supremely simple, absolutely fundamental, requires no training whatsoever, is permanently transforming, increases more and more as it is given away, and is the greatest secret in the entire Universe. Like most great secrets, this particular one is displayed openly, as if it were valueless. It is here for all who wish to have it; there is no limited supply; it increases from age to age and yet is infinitely full always.