"You must have Absolute Monarchy over your inner world," someone said to me recently.
When the King doesn't know he's the King, doesn't sit powerfully in the seat, the role, of the King, he won't be King for long. You and I are have been wandering through this life, mostly deluded into believing something is missing, wrong, not quite ready, almost there...about ourselves! And the Truth of the matter is we are Whole, Perfect, Complete...what in Sanskrit is referred to as Purna.
There is a beautiful prayer/mantra in the Upanishads that is said to encapusulate the whole of the Upanishads. (The Upanishads have exerted an important influence on the rest of Hindu philosophy and were collectively considered one of the 100 Most Influential Books Ever Written by the British poet Martin Seymour-Smith (Wikipedia, 11/09).) In this prayer it is said,
Om. That is Perfect. This is Perfect. From the
Perfect springs the Perfect. If the perfect is
taken from the Perfect, the Perfect remains.
Like that little boy in "The Matrix" in the scene just before Neo goes in to meet with the Oracle hoping to find out he is. This monk-ish little boy, wrapped in white, playing at bending spoons with just the power of his Awareness, tells Neo, "It is not the spoon that bends, it is your mind that bends" (giving the 'appearance' that the spoon has bent).
The ancient philosophy of Vedanta encourages us to see Truly. And that to cultivate the ability to see Reality as It is, we need the support of discrimination; the ability to know the difference between fantasy and Reality, between projection/illusion and things as they really are. If you're walking down a dirt road in the middle of the night in Costa Rica, and up ahead you see something long, thick, and curvy laying across the middle of the road, it may be a snake...or a rope. Whichever you believe it is in the moment will determine whether your heart nearly thumps out of your ribcage believing it to be a dangerous snake, or you go on enjoying a peaceful walk as you step over the rope.
How many situations have I walked through in my life, attempting to rearrange the situation rather than my own point of view? The Buddhists call this act rearranging the furniture in a burning house. And another teacher laughs when he calls this way of walking through life, rearranging the deck-chairs on the Titanic.
Swami Muktananda of Ganeshpuri would say often, "The world is as you see it. If you don't like the world you see, change the prescription of your glasses."
We live in a time when so many of the greatest and most potent of teachings once passed from teacher to student in secret after many years of preparation are now out strewn out in books and youtube videos for anyone to find. How will we recognize these Diamond-sharp tools? Will we, and do we, mistake them for blunt, useless instruments?
I can have the best vegetable seeds on the market, harvested from plants grown with great attention and love in idyllic conditions on the most Organic farm known to man (I'm salivating...ha ha ha!). I can plant those seeds in my roof garden today. But if the soil hasn't been nurtured, and if I don't water and care for those seeds consistently over time, it won't matter how amazing the promise of great plants might be, nothing is going to grow in those conditions.
I came across some of the most potent teachings of my life over twenty years ago, but didn't recognize them. I was too busy hunting for anything that would give me a big peak experience. In my book it was all about gathering enough of these peak experiences, out-of-body moments, and overwhelming energy encounters, and amassing a lot of them. Then if I could string them all together, I could live in one big extended peak experience for life. So tell me, how is that any different that any other kind of addict? Seeking a peak experience from a bottle, a pill, a whatever? The only difference being that my addiction was legal and encouraged widely in the spiritual marketplace.
After years of this cat and mouse game with myself, I'm now (mostly) at the place where I know that biggest focus of my path is inside of me, if not the only useful focus. What am I believing? Can I know it's the Truth for certain? What happens when I believe "x"? What's here when I let go of all beliefs and sit quietly in gratitude and appreciation of this Moment exactly as it is, without a story or narration going in the background...just this moment, this inhalation, exactly as it is...not a good inhalation, not a bad inhalation, just the breath circulating.
And in this moment of just simple awareness of my own breath, I am present. When I am present, this Presence burns off the image of dark threatening clouds, revealing the Sun always steadily shining within.
Do I really need one more book? One more lecture? One more technique? Or do I have everything I need right Here? Am I willing to cultivate this garden over time, protecting the little Oak Tree shoots until they're strong and tall with deep roots, and broad leaves that give shade to anyone who's ready to rest in the Oasis of Reality?