Krishnamurti On Love and Meditation

Thanks Alan Muskat for bringing this lovely excerpt from the work of Krishnamurti to my attention…

“In the space which thought creates around itself, there is no love. This space divides man from man, and in it is all the becoming, the battle of life, the agony and fear. Meditation is the ending of this space, the ending of the me. Then relationship has quite a different meaning, for in that space which is not made by thought, the other does not exist, for you do not exist.

Meditation then is not the pursuit of some vision, however sanctified by tradition. Rather it is the endless space where thought cannot enter. To us, the little space made by thought around itself, which is the me, is extremely important, for this is all the mind knows, identifying itself with everything that is in that space. 

And the fear of not being is born in that space. But in meditation, when this is understood, the mind can enter into a dimension of space where action is inaction. We do not know what love is, for in the space made by thought around itself as the me, love is the conflict of the me and the not-me. This conflict, this torture, is not love.

Thought is the very denial of love, and it cannot enter into that space where the me is not. In that space is the benediction which man seeks and cannot find. He seeks it within the frontiers of thought, and thought destroys the ecstasy of this benediction…

If you set out to meditate, it will not be meditation. If you set out to be good, goodness will never flower. If you cultivate humility, it ceases to be. Meditation is the breeze that comes in when you leave the window open; but if you deliberately keep it open, deliberately invite it to come, it will never appear…

It had rained heavily during the night and the day, and down the gullies the muddy stream poured into the sea, churning it chocolate-brown. As you walked on the beach the waves broke with magnificent force. You walked against the wind, and suddenly there was nothing between you and the sky, and this openness was heaven. And that evening, walking there on that wet sand, with the seagulls around you, you felt the open freedom and the beauty of love that was not in you or outside you but everywhere. You felt this suddenly, like a great wind that swept through you and over the land. There you were denuded of everything, empty and utterly open. The beauty of it was not in the word or in the feeling, but everywhere about you, inside you, over the waters and in the hills…

After the rains the hills were splendid. Still brown from the summer sun, and now all the green things would return. It had rained all night and the beauty was indescribable. The sky was still cloudy and in the air was the smell of sumac, sage and eucalyptus. It was splendid to be among them, and a strange stillness possessed you. Unlike the sea far below, the hills were completely still, and your mind too was washed empty. All through the night it pursued you, love’s stillness, and when you woke, long before the sun, it was still there in your heart, with its incredible joy, for no reason whatsoever. It was there, causeless, and it would be there, all through the day, without your ever asking or inviting it to stay.”

Krishnamurti, Meditations 1969

What’s God Have to Do With It?

I recently gave a talk at the Ryerson United Church, a place renouned for it’s progressive congregation. Although I am not a Christian, I dig Jesus Christ – He was most definitely a Fierce Love revolutionary. However, I am deeply saddened by the atrocities that have been committed in His name. Even yesterday, a doctor was murdered by a fundamentalist Christian. Can you imagine JC killing someone who disagreed with him? I don’t think so.

But a tremendous amount of good has also been done in the name of the Prince of Peace, and I’ll take goodness wherever I can find it. We need people of all walks of life, of all faiths, and non-faiths, to come together now, and work towards a future of harmony and sustainability. The time for division, for us and them – ing, has come to an end. It’s time for unity. Which does not mean sameness! Unity is strengthened by diversity.

I actually quite enjoyed talking to a congregation of spiritually focused, socially conscious people, even if most of the rituals didn’t have a resonance for me. Because I felt an authentic celebration of community, an authentic celebration of Love, and an authentic love of God.

I don’t use the G word that often, because it has been so abused and confused and misused in todays society. Some would prefer to just skip it altogether. When I do use it, I tend to write “G~d,” because that leaves some of the mystery intact.

G~d is not an old man with a white beard sitting on a cloud. G~d is not mean, judgmental or short tempered. G~d is not a human being, with all our limitations and emotions.

But G~d is something I sense, I feel, I Know, and I value. G~d offers me a sense of higher meaning – G~d for me is the totalility of all that is, was and ever will be, the “I Am” that shines behind the small me, the vast Field that connects everything, and the sum total of those connections. The source of it all.

I communicate with G~d all the time, and in fact, when I’m running a little ragged, when I’m pushing myself a little too hard, all I need to do to recharge deeply is to pause for a breath or two, center myself, and invite the divine in. Reconnect with my highest calling, my highest motivation, the source.

My understanding is rooted in a direct connection, a direct Knowing, or “gnosis.” It is not something I have read about or heard about, or speculate about. It is intrinsic to who I am, a constant wellspring of Love that brings meaning, celebration, and endless reservoirs of positive energy to my life. For me, G~d is the life force herself, G~d is Love herself.

At the end of our discussion, the minister at the United Church asked me if there was anything I wanted to add, and I thought for a moment, and said, “I’d just like to say the word God out loud, because so often, in my public life, I don’t use that word, because I don’t want to be misunderstood. So let me just say it now, three times: God, God, God. Yay!!!”

It felt good to say God. It’s a word that has to be reclaimed from all who misuse it, from the George Bush’s and the Jimmy Swaggerts, from the Jihadists and the fundamentalists of every creed.

But a relationship with G~d is not for everyone, and is not a necessary part of spirituality. You can get by fine without it – there are other ways to find meaning. The debate over the “existence of G~d” can become a smokescreen and an energy sucking diversion, and for that reason, I don’t engage in the debate. It’s enough just to Love- yourself, each other, and this planet. If we could just start from there, everything else will fall into place.

Defiantly Hopeful

merry-crisis

In the face of a world in crisis, I dare to care. In the face of materialism, consumerism, and me me me – ism, I recognize that I am because you are, that without you and you and you – plant animal mineral macro micro organism human- I would not exist. That we are all part of a brilliant multi hued tapestry, that we all add to the warp and weave and woof, that we all have a fierce light.

In the face of irony, cynicism, jadedness and despair, I choose hope. In the face of narrow empiricism, the confining corridors of quantification, of dogma of any stripe-rational, political, spiritual or religious, I choose to light a match to the fuse of possibility, and blow up all boxes, sending the church of reason, the church of ideology, the church of churchiness, into the air, with a deep and satisfying boooooom, so that emptied of their arrogance, these churches might offer us freedom, not more walls, love, not more hate, understanding, not more separation.

In the face of hatred, anger and fear, I choose love, compassion, and celebration. If I can’t party in your revolution, don’t put me on the guest list.

In the face of my own vulnerabilities and limitations, I choose to go easy on myself. I am not perfect, I am human, and that is a wonderful thing. My stumblings and fumblings make me real. I am simply doing my best.

In the face of my ego, which is always feeling either smalled or bigged, I smile gently and give it a little pat on the head, a kick in the butt, a nudge in the ribs and say,”hey we’re doing fine, we’re doing just fine. Get up off the ground, get down off of your pedestal and stand in the place of the real, neither inflated, nor deflated, just be yourself. That’s good enough.”

In the face of a sunny day, I cry out,”thank you! Thank you for this amazing world, thank you for 14 billion years of hard joyous miraculous work to get us to the point where we can really appreciate this magnificence. I’m going to stop pissing in my own pool and start truly loving this incredulous place, from the bottom of my toes to the tip of my tongue, gonna celebrate this one precious life, this next precious breath, this precious precious moment. To hell with the nay sayers and doomsdayers, the cynics and the pisspots, I will blow up the gates of the gatekeepers and storm the citadels of the power brokers with pure, unadulterated Love. Nothing-not anything- will stand in my way, not even myself. It’s the least I can do to say, thank you, thank you, thank you for the wondrous wonder of creative creation. And in case no one has told you this today, Universe: you rock!”

A Beautiful Stew

“The Chefs of G~d

are cooking up a special stew

Just for you.”

~ Rumi

fire-drummers

Who are you? I mean really.

Sounds like a simple question, but have you ever actually asked? I’ve posted on the subject before, and maybe once I know the answer, I’ll be done with the exploration. But that might not happen till the day I die! Or maybe it’s just at that precise moment, after my life has flashed before my eyes, that I’ll finally know just who I really am. Ha.

Amazing how we much we take it for granted, how many of us go through life without even pausing to ask that basic question. In my Fierce Light workshops, I often use a simple Zen excercise I learned from one of my inspirators, Roshi Enkyo O’Hara of the Village Zendo. In this partner practice, one person asks the other, “Who are you?” and after listening to the answer, says, with a little bow, “Thank you.” For five minutes. Which is actually a very very long time.

When I first tried it, I felt as if this practice expanded me, from my smaller self, to my larger, larger and still larger Self. At first, the obvious answers emerged- I’m a man, a filmmaker, a son, an artist, a sufi buddhist baha’i punk rocker – all the usual descriptors….but eventually I ran out, and things began to go further afield. I discovered that I am You, I am a blade of grass, a speck of dust, a dentist in millwaukee (that one surprised me!), a murderer, a lover of Love, an ant, a whale, everything that is was and could be…all of the above, and none of the above.

So who am I? I am a gorgeous stew, of the Great Big Enormous Beyond Enormity All Everything Totality, spiced up with the particulars of my souls journey ~ all I have been, known, seen, everything I do, think, feel and love. Especially all that I Love.

My unique ingredients are not who I am though. Rather, I am the dance of my elements, of mind body spirit and shadow, impermanent, ever changing, but rooted somehow in an essential Beingness, that is Me.

Sometimes we think we know someone, or we think we love someone, but what we really know or love, is just one small aspect of their stew. Perhaps the part we lack, or the part we celebrate in ourselves. Sometimes what we love is not even in their stew at all – it’s part of us that we’re projecting onto another. Yikes, that’s a recipe for disaster.

Love is about truly Seeing. Whether we are talking about another person, or ourselves, we cannot love unless we see, honestly, clearly, with an open, forgiving heart. Because we are all stews, it’s okay that part of our unique concoction includes our broken bits. We all have broken bits! In fact, those crunchy, gristly shadowy parts of us, with the proper mixing and spicing – add a dash of compassion, half a cup of letting go, three tablespoons of forgiveness – can be some of the most nutritious parts of our stew. The minerals and vitamins.

But we need to see those bits, bring them into the light, embrace them, release them, and allow them to be part of us. Both/and. Sometimes we need to release the shadows, sometimes we just need to shine the light into the basements of our consciousness, and see what’s there. If we try to repress the shadow bits of us, or deny them, they lurk around in our unconscious, sediment at the bottom of the pot, not properly integrated, and they can throw the mixture off.

We are continually seasoning our stews, and as we become more conscious, we can decide just what the flavour is we’re going for. With consciousness, we can align ourselves with the great Chef some call G~d, and start bringing forth those seasonings that we intuit we are here, on this plane, this planet, right now, to discover.

What spice, what ingredient, what pinch of this, or dash of that, would bring you into harmony? Or put you into the perfect off-kilter place you need to be right now- in case you are a little too balanced? Perhaps, in fact, there is nothing you need, other than what you have in this moment. Phew, that would be quite a feat – to accept who we are, and work with what we have.

More than anything, the key to being a tasty stew is truly integrating your ingredients, letting them flow together, play off each other, bring out the best in you, the whole You. It might seem unlikely – how can that broken heart ever be part of my flavouring, surely it’s going to turn me sour – but really, the choice is yours. As Viktor Frankl said, in “Man’s Search for Meaning”, we can lose everything except for one thing – our freedom to choose how we respond, to whatever comes our way.

The Chefs of G~d are cooking up a special stew – named You. Our small, individual stews are each a part of the Great Stew that constitutes all of creation, in fact all that is manifest and unmanifest, seen and unseen. Each one of us is an essential ingredient. This world, this universe, would not be the same without you. Thank-you for the vitamins, the minerals, the spices, the salty sour sweetness you bring to the mix.

Maybe it’s time to turn up the burner, and bring those juices of creation and destruction, tragedy and comedy, eros and pathos, compassion and ecstasy, love and limitless possibility, to a boil! What do you have to lose?

fire

The Oracle of Remembering

 

“The intuitive life is one in which we feel continually connected to the divine source. It is a life in which we are at one with our true nature as it is in each moment, and a life in which we are in love with ourselves in the deepest possible way. It is a life in which we feel intimate with ourselves, and the divine, and therefore invite the most profound intimacy into our lives”
-Jennifer Posada, ‘The Oracle Within’

 

dsc002251hpim3830dsc00203dsc00271

I am in Delphi, Greece, home of the ancient oracle of Delphi. It is said the God Zeus released two eagles from opposite ends of the earth, and they met here, in Delphi. The ancients considered this sacred place the center of the world, the place where heaven and earth meet. Where spirit meets matter. It was a place of worship of the earth goddess, Ge, or Gaia. In time it also became a place of prophecy, where the Pythia, the Delphic Oracles, would fall into ecstatic trances, pronouncing prophecies.

My journey here was to film for Redvolution:Dare to Disturb the Universe. One of the characters in the film is Jennifer Posada, a modern day Oracle, and author of the book, “The Oracle Within.” The interview we did with Jennifer, with co-director Sera Beak asking the questions, was one of the more powerful interview experiences of my life – and I have spoken to many extraordinary people. We did two interviews, one in which she spoke as an Oracle, allowing the divine feminine to speak through her, and a second where she spoke as Jennifer Posada. A tremendous ecstatic energy filled the room on the evening when she spoke as an Oracle. I could feel a moving presence, which was beyond words, which often moved me to tears. If you do get to see Redvolution one day, you will get a taste of the beauty of this interview.

She spoke of the era we’re in as the time of the Great Remembering, a time when we are called to return to our connection to each other, the planet and the divine. She spoke of the importance of learning to love ourselves, a key to unlocking our greatest powers. This is a realization that Jennifer has had all her life. As a child, she used to write little notes that said, “You love you.” This is not the self centered love of the ego, but the true love of the Self, of seeing and knowing and loving the divine spark within, which in turn allows you to truly love the divinity in others.

According to Jennifer, if we choose, we can all access the Oracle within. We can nurture the ability to deeply listen, to hear the deepest truths the universe is offering us.  

In ‘The Oracle Within’ Jennifer writes, “We do not heal, we remember the healed state.  We do not grow, we remember a different possibility.  We do not change, we remember a new future.  It is all already within us as potentiality, whether past or future, we are simply being called back or forward to our organic nature and remembering its essence.  That nature is the palate of our lives and of our souls, from which masterpieces can be created. Especially once we realize that the brush is in our hands and the colors infinite”. 

dsc00150dsc00147dsc00153

 

I have had my own inner voice for many years.  It first came to me when I was still a teenager, a guide that emerged out of a spiritual crisis, and has stayed with me ever since. It has become a dependable source of guidance, my inner muse, my connection to the source, a voice which speaks to me whenever I call Him in.  It is the voice of my authentic self. I call my inner voice Raven, the higher self to my personality self, which sometimes goes by the name Crow. Today He is more and more a continual presence. The spaces of forgetting who I truly am dissolving with divine time.

In Delphi, after most of my filming was done, I spent a day in the sanctuary of the Castilian Spring, meditating and listening in to the power of the place, Remembering.   In particular, I wanted to hear from the earth goddess Gaia, the first to be worshipped here.

For decades, I have been very very aware of the state of crisis this planet is in. Much of my work as a spiritual activist is based around helping to heal the planet, the healing of a divided humanity, and the healing of our divided psyches. A return to wholeness. To holiness. At first the alarm bells we were ringing went largely unheeded. We were a tiny minority who could see what was coming. Today, despite the greater depths of the planetary crisis we are facing, I actually feel much more hopeful – because we are also experiencing an equally greater, widespread awakening of consciousness.

That afternoon in the flower filled sacred glade, entranced by the bubbling spring, I placed a statue of the earth goddess Gaia (which I had just bought in the town of Delphi at a shop owned by the lovely Constanine, a friend of Jennifers) in a little nook in the sanctuary wall, closed my eyes, and invited Her to speak. Much of what I heard and experienced that day was for me personally, alone, but some of it was also meant to be shared, for those who are open to these words. Just who was speaking that day? Was it really Gaia, or it was it just me? Or were there even more voices coming through – the wisdom of Raven, the wisdom of Her, and, in the spirit of inter-being, the wisdom of You.

This is some of what I heard….

dsc002631dsc00258dsc00257

Listen carefully
The time has come
To join in the dance
Of stones and stars
Of cells and silence
Of blood and water
Of music and movement
Of justice
Of life

We are here
Together
In this
Dance
The dance
Of interdependence

We are here together
To sing this song
The song
Of independence

Bring these truths
Together
Unity
Diversity
You
Me
Us

And let our many hearts
Beat a rythmn of
Harmony

 

Beauty is the way of this earth
You are of this place
Not seperate

Celebrate
Celebrate!
Not a breath has been wasted
Everything is here before you
For You
For Us
The time is now.
Remember who You are.
It’s never too late to start again.
The time is now.


dsc001842dsc002281

 

If you look inside, you will discover everything you need. Do not let fear block you. Do not be afraid of those who will not understand you-it has always been so, it will always be so. Love them, as you love yourself. This is no time to be shivering in the shadow of limitation, not now. Cast off those false shackles, they are mere mist, vapor, dust, fog, mirage. They will burn away with the morning sun, when you let your true self shine. Layer upon layer, clear away the illusions, let your true heart free. Let your sun rise.

Take your heart, ruby red and stained by your imaginings of shame, and place it in these healing spring waters, and wash it clean-it is in fact unstained, can never be stained, but wash it nonetheless.


dsc002331dsc001962

Now feel your roots go deep, deep into the earth, as deep as you can go, into the very core of this planet, until you reach a deep pool of fiery lava-a molten core of passion, of Love, that is bubbling inside this planet, inside your own interior universe, could you but know. Allow this force of fire, of pure unadulterated love, to flow up through your roots, into your being, towards the volcano that is your heart, and let it burst forth, blowing open the gates, letting your love fire burn, bright, bright, brighter still. Let nothing block that love from being released. This world needs you, loves you, loves your love. Don’t let it stay bottled up inside, release it from hiding, and let the healing begin. You are whole, You are healed, you are already perfect, even in your imperfection, especially in your imperfection, your blessed imperfection, you are perfect. It is never too late. Never too late. Never too late to shine.

hpim3899

 

When I opened my eyes, I felt I was being watched. High above me on the cliff walls, a family of inquisitive goats stared down upon me, perhaps a visitation of that mischevious troublemaker, Pan, reminding me that’s it’s okay to have a skip in my step, a twinkle in my eyes, that it’s okay to be sexy, to be funny, to be a rebel for love, to have a merry crisis.

 

dsc00265dsc00259merry-crisisdsc001403

The Gift of Acknowledgement

sunflower1

One of the simplest, most powerful things we can do in our everyday human interactions, is to acknowledge another person. To see them, to give them the gift of empowerment. Costs you nothing, but can be absolutely transformative for that person. It’s the stellar opposite of that old stand by – judgement, criticism, disapproval. A spiritual activist looks for ways to encourage, to cajole the best of another, to add fuel to their spark, to light their fire by truly seeing them, seeing their gifts, seeing what special something they might have to offer the world, and celebrating that.

In her classic book, ‘The Possible Human’ Jean Houston writes, “The greatest human potential is the potential of each one of us to empower and acknowledge the other. To be acknowledged by another, especially during times of confusion, loss, disorientation, disheartenment, is to be given time and place in the sunshine, and is the solar stimulus for transformation. The process of helaing and growth is immensely quickened when the sun of another’s belief is freely given. This gift can be as simple as “Hot dog! Thou art!” Or it can be as total as “I know you. You are God in hiding.” Or it can be a look that goes straight to the soul and charges it with meaning.”

It’s something I do naturally, and take great pleasure in. In fact, I’m so happy whenever I see a chance to add some ecouragement, some honest acknowledgement, to somebody. It immediately raises energy, and you can see people light up so quickly. It’s not about false praise – that is actually counter productive. It’s not about stoking someone’s ego. And it doesn’t respond well to request – it’s actually hard to acknowledge someone when they are hungry for praise, or needy about it. It works best when sincere, spontaneous and heart felt. It means really seeing the people you encounter, stepping outside yourself, and connecting with who they are, what their special light is in this moment. Oftentimes we aren’t even aware of our own positive qualities, or in this society of epic self worth issues, we focus on our negative sides, and deny our own light. So when someone else steps in and says – hey, way to go! It can be immensely healing.

Much like gratitude can be a simple, but incredibly powerful, tool of transformation, so too can giving the gift of acknowledgement. It’s easy, fun, and free!

Leave Me Alone (Don’t Ever!)

I once had a friend who was in a relationship crisis, and he was completely distraught. His life had been dedicated to spiritual practice, and increasingly, to teaching meditation and spiritual thought. He said to me, with a look of confusion, “I can go into deep Samadhi (Samadhi is a high state of meditative awareness) in meditation, but I can’t figure out relationships.”

I’ve experienced the same struggle in my own life, and I have a feeling we’re not alone. But increasingly, I am learning that the real spiritual juice is in the full spectrum of life, of a life fully lived, in all it’s complexities, with all it’s colours – from glowing sunrises to deepest darkest shadow. Spirituality is not about inner peace necessarily – it’s about full engagement with all that is.

Last year Sera Beak and I interviewed LaSara Firefox (author of the books ‘Sexy Witch’ and ‘Yoga Mama’) for the film Redvolution: Dare to Disturb the Universe and she told of a time in which she became convinced that her busy life, her children especially, were keeping her from her quest for union with the divine. After some deep soul searching, she came out of that place, and realized that in fact, G~d lives and breathes, laughs and cries, in relationship. In relationship to each other, in relationship to the world, in relationship to ourselves.

It’s such an important lesson to learn for those of us with a spiritual bent. Being spiritual is not about the time you spend on a meditation cushion. That is incubation, that is preparation. The real work, the real Work, takes place in the real world.

While disembodied spirituality can doom relationships of any kind, embodied spirituality is the pathway to true love. Author and cultural theorist bell hooks defines love as “the committment to another’s spiritual growth.” Sounds like a great recipe for mutually enhancing relationships-the kind of relationships that leaves both parties expanded. It means meeting beyond the ego, beyond the limited self to the divine person we all are. A committment to being a source of inspiration and transformation for each other is the key to a deep, spiritual relationship.

Another way of defining love is “being seen” – being truly, wholly seen. That means recognizing and seeing all of who a person is-their perfection, and their very human imperfection. We’re all works in progress, and that is the exciting thing about being alive. We are all made of light and shadow. No one exists without both. If we were all light, we’d float away. And if we were all shadow, we would sink into the swamp. Recognizing the fullness of who we are, and being seen for that, appreciated for that, and understood for that, is a fierce love.

Here is a short film I made that pokes fun at my own spiritual foibles when it comes to relationships. It’s called “Leave Me Alone (Don’t Ever!)” and is part of a collection of short films called “Breaking Up in Three Minutes.” It’s actually a true story, based on the break up with my first true love – I was about twenty-two or so at the time. In the wake of that loss, I set off on a great voyage of internal discovery, spending three months hitchiking from Montreal, to Newfoundland and back again. I returned to the city, certain that my new found spiritual realizations would win her heart. Alas, it didn’t work. But at least I got the catalyst for some true reflection and growth, reams of bad love poetry, and a funny film out of the deal. When all else fails, there’s always laughter!