Sunday, October 23, 2016

A Fleeting (aren't they all?) Thought on Consciousness

If we use a metaphor to describe consciousness, can we not say that it is the light whose rays when reflected upon the processes of the mind 'bring them to life'? In the same way, literally and not metaphorically, the reflection of the sun's rays on all objects in its path, bring them to a form of existence?
The objects on earth, animate and inanimate, are flowing through space and time as one, just as thoughts flow through our consciousness. 
When light is there, they appear.  
We differentiate ourselves from the Light-Consciousness and believe our thoughts to be the truth, which eventually creates deception, conflict, and misery when that so called truth transforms.
We also believe that everything under the sun exists separately one from the other and this, too, brings us to the same miserable end. 
Can light exist if it has nothing upon which to reflect?

Does pure consciousness exist if thoughts become formless? 

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Detachment and Non-Attachment are not the same

Detachment is non non-attachment.
I have noticed that the word ‘detachment’ is often used when referring to vairagya. Personally, I feel that it is not the right translation, in fact, I feel it is the exact opposite of what vairagya means. Detachment gives a sense of being separate from something, like a door that has become unhinged from its frame. Although I do not think that any one English word can perfectly and completely express the full meaning of vairagya, the translation that comes closest is probably ‘non-attachment’. 

Friday, January 1, 2016

2016 New Year Thoughts

Some new year thoughts. It has become very clear to me from my yoga asana practice that what my body could do yesterday, it will not be able to do tomorrow. And that is fine with me. There comes a time when one has to realise the difference between maintaining one’s health and forcing (torturing ;-)) the body to do what it no longer wants or needs to do. My body has done so much for me and I am grateful to have been blessed with such a healthy ‘container’ in this lifetime. This body has brought me to many different countries, it has carried me up many mountains and icefalls, and down many snow-covered ski slopes. I have flown like a bird and swam like a fish in this body. Yoga asana practice, too, has been an important part of the process however, it is certainly not the only way one can become aware of the body. I am beginning to understand how everything one does with the body can connect oneself to a deeper understanding of the body and mind. For me, in my life, the Path began with mountain climbing. Yoga is a continuation of this Path.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Why Was I Born in the Place in Which I Was Born?

Why was I born where I was born? I have been looking at, and not judging, the Karmic influence on people of countries where religion molds their every thought and emotion in contrast to countries where this depth of history is not present. It has nothing to do with which is better or worse, bad or good...it's just something I have been looking at. It is absolutely possible to look at something without judging or criticising it, without putting it into a category, just looking at it, carefully.
In the US, where every religion is present, there are no dominating religions, and cultures and traditions change with every generation, people don't have the 'weight' of history that can give them depth, yet this same history/culture/tradition can bog one down and cloud one’s minds. But, instead of using this ‘weightlessness’ to our advantage, we run around searching for some kind of foundation, 'something to believe in'. We become like chickens, i.e., birds with wings that cannot fly, continuously pecking the ground for bits of something here and there. On the other hand, in countries where religion, culture, and tradition are deeply rooted into people's everyday lives, people tend to lose their free will to think. We get so attached to our roots we become like horses with blinders, only seeing what is just in front of our noses. Instead of using the depth of our history to dig further, we sit pompously on the crumbling mound of dirt we call our home convinced it is the only place of truth and beauty in the world. 

Friday, August 14, 2015

Sri Adi Shankaracharya Sadācārānusandhānam Verses 31

It is a beautiful, rainy day here in Chamonix. Rain puts me in an introspective mood (more than the usual reflective mood in which I seem to be abiding lately.) This Adi Shankara​ verse of the day is quite appropriate. Thanks again to Vidyabhaskar(aka Rentsch Bhāskar Chris​) for the magnificent translation. 

Sadācārānusandhānam Verses 31

"In the bliss of reality,
in the sky of consciousness,
illusion is like a cloud
the mind is like lightning
the feeling of 'I' is like thunder
and thoughts are like the downpour of the rain.”

Śankara Bhagavatpāda, 


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Hastamalakiyam - Sri Shankaracharya

An incredible Sanskrit scholar from Switzerland, Rentsch Bhaskar (Vidyabhaskarji), whom I had the pleasure of meeting a few weeks ago, thanks to Siddharthaji has been translating some of Sri Adi Shankaracharya’s lesser known texts. I have been fortunate enough to be gifted with some of these translations. The poems written by this great sage are breathtaking. They are so beautiful, I am surprised no one has taken the time or made the effort to translate them into English until now. 
Since Vidyabhaskarji has been so generous as to share them with me, I feel I must share them with all of you.
This next verse is Hastāmalakīyam, a rather difficult text that Vidyabhaskar ‘has been struggling with for a while’, as he told me. 
Here below is the background info he gave me about this amazing verse and the verse itself. I hope it moves you as much as it does me. 
Hari Om. 

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Eka Shloka Shankaracharya - Omkarananda Ashram Switerzerland

As suggested to me by my vedanta teacher, Siddharthaji, a couple weeks ago I went with a friend of mine to visit the Omkarananda Ashram in Winterthur, Switzerland. It is a beautiful place with some of the most amazing statues I have ever seen. Such a perfect place for meditation and inner reflection.
I had the great pleasure of meeting some interesting people there: Swamini Vivekanandaji, Vidyabhaskarji, his son Amar, and Swamini Padma Chaitanya. I am eternally grateful for their hospitality. 
Vidyabhaskar is of Swiss German origin however he is an exceptional Sanskrit scholar. His translations of Sri Shankaracharya’s poems are the best I have ever read. He manages to capture the essence of the words in English, which is not an easy feat considering the complexity and depth of the Sanskrit language and the profundity with which Shankara Bhagavatpada expressed himself. 
Vidyabhaskar gifted me with some translations he made of some lesser known works of Shankaracharya. Here below is one of them. It is so painfully beautiful, it brought a tear to me eye.