An interview with Neil Dalal, a scholar and director of acclaimed documentary Gurukulam, an immersive portrait about life in a remote forest ashram. “I knew Swami Dayananda for nineteen years prior to his mahasamadhi last year and studied extensively in India with him. Over the years we had numerous discussions and he was always interested in my research. He was keenly aware of the difficulties of self-representation that traditional Advaita faces today, but was disinclined towards publicity and biographical praise.”
THE SHADOW OF MY HANDS MOVINGView Post
When we buy a piece of meat, doesn’t the supply-chain economy react to replace it in the grocery aisle, where it otherwise would not? If hundreds of tantric Buddhists shopped in the same Whole Foods outlet, perhaps that would be the case. But if we relatively few tantrikas are thoughtful and selective, we not only are very unlikely to add to the toll of lives lost to consumption of meat by our twice-monthly small purchase, but likely will be substituting our purchase for that of another person who lacks our motivation and purpose in forming a compassionate and aspirational karmic connection with the being whose flesh has been slaughtered.
FARMHOUSE IN KOPAN 1976View Post
Our geometric culture with its plethora of sensations but without deep experiences, with a fantastic accumulation of knowledge but with lack of wisdom, with too much vigor of bodybuilding, sexuality, the artifacts of destruction shown in serial killer but without tenderness, affection and the ability to care for each other, care about the Earth, care about our children and animals, for the common future of us all. Our invincible strength comes from the tenderness with which we surround, treat, love and respect all sentient beings without exception.
The rise in a multitude of ways to have a quick fix, a good body, and perfect health is another manifestation of our cultural sickness. Simple direct ways to live, eat and follow the flow of nature have become totally uninteresting to our hyped-up western culture. If it’s not sexy, trendy or going to make you famous, then it’s not of value to us at all. This is the danger of our current way of being in relationship to our lives and a direct affront to the sacredness and true purpose of life itself.
THE OTHER SIDEView Post
One of the simplest things we can do to decrease our level of stimulation and increase our sensitivity is to sit comfortably and gently in a quiet place and just relax for a few minutes. We may call it meditation, but really it’s just a simple, natural thing that makes a lot of sense.
In tantric Buddhism we find the principle of vibration or sound expressed in the inner practices of transformation where we imagine and develop a mandala, or a pure vision of the dimension of a particular deity or enlightened being. It’s a facsimile of the dimension of a deity, a spontaneous effulgent radiance of reality, in order to transform our limited dualistic vision of reality into the total vision of enlightenment and realize the qualities of enlightened wisdom through that particular deity.
MY GURUView Post
The Moon landing showed that humans can set foot on other worlds, and Hubble validated the Big Bang fourteen billion years ago, but Voyager revealed the depth of humanity’s astounding hubris by simply travelling from planet to planet and taking pictures of our solar system. It was like looking in a mirror while high on LSD and seeing 99.99999% Emptiness — a great void — with a few tiny bits of luminous matter spinning about a blob of boiling solar plasma that will eventually consume itself.
We must take empowered responsibility, skillful means, insight, awareness, make decisions with perspective and perform interconnected and compassionate actions beyond self-interest and fear, the fear of ourselves or self-doubt, fear of others, of the open space of possibilities, and beyond fear of action.
I AM COMING OUT AS A HUMAN BEINGView Post
It is strange that we can keep on upholding the notion of the superiority of our own civilization over earlier and currently different forms of society and cultures. And furthermore, it is strange that we find this position to be legitimized by the power that our economic superiority ensures us.
These days, we wonder how we can be like Sujata. We strive to make a difference in the world. We reduce our carbon footprints and participate proactively in the democratic process. We educate ourselves and serve others. Yet despite our best efforts, as a whole our societies still seem to be starving for compassion, thirsty for equanimity, and emaciated by the onslaught of digital disconnections. We wonder, what is the bowl of rice and milk that we can give our world to help to bring it into balance?
A poem about the experience and recognition of the moment and the power within. Accompanied by photographs I have taken of such very special moments that I have found my self to be in.
That is why the industrial agriculture and meat industry can exist. It is due to a basic experience of discernment and independence that violence in any form grows. That thinking does not allow us to see ourselves as part of a larger and interdependent whole, but creates a world where we feel separate from other people and everything else alive. It is a thought pattern that appeals to our fears and greed, which has defined the world in purely economic terms, builds on the idea of eternal growth and profit, and which constantly brings us to battle against others and nature.
THE DREAMView Post
The longing for wholeness commits us to a perpetual state of dualistic suffering. We search for God, a soul mate, philosophical ideals, creative ecstasy through the many human values such as power, greed, jealousy and hatred. These dualistic patterns run through out all of samsara creating an endless perpetual dissatisfaction.
The Bodhi Tree is a type of fig tree (Ficus Religiosa) so during the time it is bearing fruit there is much life in the tree as birds and chipmunks are attracted to the tiny figs. October is one of those times so I was fortunate to be able to gather some of the seeds that had dropped from the tree. These can be planted easily and will grow very well in a tropical climate, or as house plants further north.
There is something that comes before all other contemplation, that if it is lacking whatever time and energy is spent in studying is as good as wasted. I’m referring here to a clarity of mind that grasps what’s being talked about, and that can understand it and make connections with our own life, at least to some extent. If we are not moved inwardly by what we hear or read, then something essential is missing.