February 24, 2013
Zen emptiness is not the emptiness of nothingness, but the emptiness of fullness in which this equation takes place: zero=infinity. The Godhead is no other than this equation. In other words when God as Creator came out of the Godhead he did not leave the Godhead behind. He has the Godhead with him all along while engaging in the work of creation. Creation is continuous, going on till the end of time, which really has no ending and therefore no beginning. For creation is out of inexhaustible nothingness.
THE universe is God’s book,
And he to whom the vision of the Divine
Has been vouchsafed
Reads therein and understands.
Substance is its consonants and accidents its vowels,
And different creatures are its signs and pauses.
The first verse is “Universal Reason,”
The second “Universal Soul,” the “verse of light,”
And this is as a brightly shining lamp.
The third is the “Highest heavens,
The fourth “The Throne.”
After there are seven transcendent spheres,
The “chapter of the seven limbs,”
And forms of the four elements,
Then Nature’s three kingdoms
Whose verses none can count.
And last of all came down the soul of man
“The world was created with ten utterances.
But could God not have created her with a single utterance?
Rather, it is to teach you how precious the earth is,
and how much reward for those who cherish her and how great the consequences for those who abuse her”
– Babylonian Talmud, Avot 5:1
Sometimes you really feel the presence of God in the world, and in your life, And sometimes, you have trouble accessing that sense of Divine Presence. Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi calls God “The Great Cosmic Flasher.” More ancient rabbis put it this way: “The Sacred Wellspring (God) is both revealed and concealed. “God is always present, and at times that presence is conspicuous, and at times mysterious. But never absent.
-Sefer Ha’Zohar, (Vol 1, f39b)
When you train yourself to hear the voice of God in everything, you attain the quintessence of the human spirit. Usually the mind conceals the divine thoroughly by imagining that there is a separate mental power that constructs the mental images. But by training yourself to hear the voice of God in everything, the voice reveals itself to your mind as well. Then the right in mind, you discover revelation.
–Daniel C Matt: The Essential Kabbalah: The Heart of Jewish Mysticism
To find the Tao, there is nowhere you need to search.
If it is nit inside you, it is not the Tao
May 27, 2011
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I praise the Lord, Prince of the realm and King!
His rule extends across the whole wide world.
Gweir was penned beneath the fortress mound,
As tell the tales of Pwyll and Pryderi.
None before him passed into the prison,
With a heavy chain a faithful servant bound.
Bitter before the spoils of Annwn he sang,
And until Doomsday lasts our bardic prayer.
Three companies of warriors we went in –
Seven alone rose up from Elfs-castle.
Song rang out, honoring me with praise
In the four-peaked fortress, four its mighty turnings.
My verses from within the cauldron uttered,
By breath of maidens ninefold they were kindled.
The lord of Annwn’s cauldron: how is it made?
A dark ridge on its border, crusted pearls.
Its fate is not to boil the meat of cowards,
The deadly flashing sword is lifted to it,
And in the hand of the Leaper it was left.
Before the doors of hell the lamps were burning.
When we went in with Arthur, blinding trouble –
Seven alone rose up from Meads-castle.
Song rang out, honoring me with praise
In the four-peaked fortress, isle of the strong door.
Flowing water and shining jet are mingled,
They drink the sparkling wine before their followers.
Three companies of warriors sailed the sea –
Seven alone rose up from Hard-castle.
I do not deserve to be put with poetasters:
Beyond the fort they missed the valor of Arthur.
Six thousand men stood on the glass wall,
Their sentinel was difficult to speak with.
Three companies of warriors went with Arthur –
Seven alone rose up from Guts-castle.
I do not deserve the mean men, slack their shield straps.
They do not know the day of our creation,
Nor what time of day the One was born.
Who made him who strayed far from Defwy meadows?
They do not know the ox, his thick headband,
Full sevenscore links upon his chained collar.
And when we went with Arthur, woeful visit –
Seven alone rose up from Gods-castle.
I do not deserve these men — slack their will.
They do not know which day the chief was sired,
Nor what hour of day the lord was born,
Nor what beasts are kept, their heads of silver.
When we went in with Arthur, sorrowful strife –
Seven alone rose up from Box-castle.
Monks are a pack together — a choir of dogs –
They shrink away from meeting the lords who know:
Is there one course of wind? One course of water?
Is there one spark of fire? Of fierce tumult?
Monks are a pack together, like youngling wolves
They shrink away from meeting the lords who know:
They do not know when night and dawn divide,
Nor wind, what is its course, nor what its onrush,
What place it ravages, nor where it strikes.
The grave of the saint vanishes, grave and ground.
I praise the Lord, great Prince of the whole world,
And so I am not sad, for Christ endows me.
In the center of the Castle of Brahma, our own body, there is a small shrine,
in the form of a Lotus flower, and within can be found a small space.
We should find who dwells there and want to know him….
for the whole universe is in him and he dwells within our heart.
Or, as one might say; In the center of the Castle of the Grail, our own body, there is a shrine,
and within it is to be found the Grail of the Heart.
We should indeed seek to know and understand that inhabitant.
It is the fragment of the divine contained within each one of us- like the sparks of
unfallen creation which the Gnostics saw entrapped within the flesh of the human envelope.
This light shines within each one, and the true quest of the Grail consists in
bringing that light to the surface, nourishing and feeding it until its radiance suffuses the world.
–John Matthews (“Temples of the Grail” found in At The Table of the Grail: No One Who Sets Forth on the Grail Quest Remains Unchanged )
The Grail Mystery Returned underground, wrapped itself again in its esotericism
and waited for another time toi unfold its inner revelation. Such a point was reached
after the Reformation, when the inner Grail mystery…surfaced again in the Rosicruccian
movement of the early seventeenth century. At this time…the Rosicrucians tried to incarnate
an Esoteric Christianity within the Protestant movement…in order to provide a much needed
resolution of the polarities of Protestantism. Thus we should see the Rosicrucian
movement as being inwardly related to the Grail mystery. The spiritual alchemy that
was the esoteric foundation of Rosicrucianism can be seen as a development of the Grail impulse.
–Adam Maclean (“Alchemical transmutation in history and symbolism” , found in At the Table of the Grail 1982)
intrinsic definition of Limitlessness is that It lacks nothing and can
receive nothing, for It is everything. As It is everything,
theoretictically It is the potential to be an infinite source of giving.
question arises, however, that there is nothing for It to give to
because It is everything. It would have to give to Itself. This has been
a major creation. conundrum in philosophy and theology for thousands of
suggests one way of dealing with this issue. It says that as long as
the infinite source of giving has no “will” to give, nothing happens.
However, the instant It has the will to give, this will initiates a
“thought.” Kabbalah says, “Will, which is [primordial] thought, is the
beginning of all things, and the expression [of this thought] is the
That is, the entire creation is nothing more than a thought in the “mind” ofEin Sof, so
to speak. Another way to express this idea is that the will to u give
instantly creates a will to receive. The idea that an infinite giver can
create receptivity in Itself is what Kabbalists call tzimtzum (contraction). It has to make an opening within Itself for receiving.
That which is given is called light. That which receives is called vessel. Light
and vessel are always in balance, because light comes from an infinite
source and thus will fill a vessel to its capacity. If we put a bucket
under Niagara Falls, it instantly fills. If we put a freight train
there, it also instantly fills. Imagine that the entire universe rests
under a Niagara Falls of light, continuously being filled.
to Kabbalah, the interaction between vessel and light is what makes the
world go around. Everything in the universe is a vessel that “wills” to
receive the light of theinfinite bestower. Each molecule, plant,
animal, rock, and human is a vessel; each has the “will” to be exactly
what it is.]
consciousness is unique in that it has the quality of being “in and the
universe. If we the image of God.” This quality is expressed by what we
call free will, and free will at its core is nothing more than the
ability to bestow light. That is to say, human consciousness has an
inherent will to give. This human capability of acting like God in being a bestower is the fulcrum upon which the entire universe is balanced.
reason this is so important is that if there were a will only to
receive, as described above, the universe would be completely
predictable. Everything would be predetermined, all receptivity would
find shape in its implicit design, and every aspect of the unfolding of
creation could be anticipated. The wild card introduced here is the
premise that human consciousness is informed by a soul force that gives
it the capacity to emulate the infinite Bestower.
human beings have an extraordinary capacity to influence the direction
of creation. Each time we make use of our free will by giving, we are in
copartnership with the infinite Bestower. When this is accomplished,
with clear awareness of what we are doing, we raise the consciousness of
–David A Cooper (God Is a Verb: Kabbalah and the Practice of Mystical Judaism)
January 27, 2011
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The result of my life is contained in but three words:
I was unripe, I ripened and I was consumed
August 24, 2010
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The Western mind focuses on substance; the Eastern mind focuses on the interrelationship between everything. Nothing has independant being in of itself. That’s the basic insight of sunyata, whereas in Western mysticism, nothingness is still the ultimate essence. It may be pure Divine being, but it is also something. The East would criticize even this ultimate substance or essence and try to see through the illusion that there is any existent thing in and of itself.
You could say that there are two ways of describing an underlying reality that, presumably, is one and the same. But whereas sunyata is central to Buddhism, most Jews have never heard of Ayin. Even in Kabbalah, it’s talked about very rarely. In Hasidism, it’s further developed, but of all the Hasidic teachers, maybe one percent is devoted to ayin.
Yet, ayin is central because it represents the moment of transition from infinity (Ein Sof) to the sefirot. Ayin is how God unfolds. Creation is rooted in nothingness. There are roots for this postive sense of nothingness within Judaism. The Talmud, for example states, “The words of Torah do not become real except for one who makes himself as if he is not.” Job asked rhetorically, “Where is wisdom to be found?” The word ayin in this verse is in question: “where?” But already in the Talmud, ayin is interpreted as a noun: “Wisdom is found in nothingness.” In Kabbalah, it becomes Divine nothingness. Its roots lie in rabbinical literature, but Kabbalah expands this.
–”Why meditate?” by Daniel C Matt
In all change and growth, say the masters, the mysterious ayin is present. There is an ungraspable instant in the midst of all transformation when that which is about to be transformed is no longer that which it had been until that moment, but has not yet emerged as its transformed self; that moment belongs to the ayin within God. Since change and transformation are constant, however, in fact all moments are moments of contact with the ayin, a contact that man is usually too blind to acknowledge. The height of contemplative prayer is seen as such a transforming moment, but one that is marked by awareness. The worshiper is no longer himself, for he is fully absorbed, in that moment, in the Nothingness of divinity. In that moment of absorption the worshiper is transformed: as he continues his verbal prayer, it is no longer he who speaks, but rather the Presence who speaks through him. In that prayerful return to the source, the human being has reached his highest state, becoming nought but the passive instrument for the ever self-proclaiming praise of God. Through his lips the divine word is spoken.
If you are a poet, you will see clearly that there is a cloud floating in this sheet of paper. Without a cloud, there will be no rain; without rain, the trees cannot grow; and without trees, we cannot make paper. The cloud is essential for the paper to exist. If the cloud is not here, the sheet of paper cannot be here either. So we can say that the cloud and the paper inter-are. “Interbeing” is a word that is not in the dictionary yet, but if we combine the prefix “inter-” with the verb “to be,” we have a new verb, “inter-be.” If we look into this sheet of paper even more deeply, we can see the sunshine in it. Without sunshine, the forest cannot grow. In fact, nothing can grow without sunshine. And so, we know that the sunshine is also in this sheet of paper. The paper and the sunshine inter-are. And if we continue to look, we can see the logger who cut the tree and brought it to the mill to be transformed into paper. And we see wheat. We know that the logger cannot exist without his daily bread, and therefore the wheat that became his bread is also in this sheet of paper. The logger’s father and mother are in it too. When we look in this way, we see that without all of these things, this sheet of paper cannot exist. Looking even more deeply, we can see ourselves in this sheet of paper too. This is not difficult to see because when we look at a sheet of paper, it is part of our perception. Your mind is here and mine is also. So we can say that everything is in here with this sheet of paper. We cannot point out one thing that is not here–time, space, the earth, the rain, the minerals in the soil, the sunshine, the cloud, the river, the heat. Everything co-exists within this sheet of paper. That is why I think the word “inter-be” should be in the dictionary. “To be” is to inter-be. We cannot just be by ourselves alone. We have to inter-be with every other thing. This sheet of paper is, because everything else is.
Suppose we try to return one of the elements to its source. Suppose we return the sunshine to the sun. Do you think this sheet of paper will be possible? No, without sunshine nothing else can be. And if we return the logger to his mother, then we have no sheet of paper either. The fact is that this sheet of paper is made up only of “non-paper” elements. And if we return these non-paper elements to their sources, then there can be no paper at all. Without non-paper elements–like mind, logger, sunshine and so on–there will be no paper. As thin as this sheet of paper is, it contains everything in the universe in it.
–Thich Nhat Hanh, Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life
May 6, 2010
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“A love that merely enables man to ‘enjoy himself,’ to remain at peace
in a life of inert comfort and to bring into being of himself is not to
be regarded as true love. It does not represent a renewal, a progress,
a step forward in building the kingdom of God.
True love leads a man to fulfilment, not by drawing things to himself
but by forcing him to transcend himself and to become something greater
than himself. True spiritual love takes the isolated individual, exacts
from him labor, sacrifice, and the gift of himself. It demands that he
‘lose his life’ in order to find it again on a higher level–in Christ.”
[The seeker]then abides in the world, but he does not make the world his wish as other people do, he does not compete for it as other people compete, he does not aim to indulge in its pleasures, and he does not find joy in its companionship.
It becomes minor in his eyes. He casts it aside. He relaxes from the weariness of pursuing [worldly things] and makes himself relax from all such weariness. When you see him, he is always strong, energetic, content, self sufficient, non-worrying, dignified. His face radiates the brightness of worshippers and his heart [contains] the light of ascetics. He has no need for the world apart from hsi basic nourishment. He is better than others.
December 14, 2009
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God, the word evokes such a lot. In Buddhism however we find that God is as you say, transcendant, but if we dig deeper God is also immanent.
We see this clearly in:
The tao that can be told
is not the eternal Tao
The name that can be named
is not the eternal Name.
The unnamable is the eternally real.
Naming is the origin
of all particular things.
Free from desire, you realize the mystery.
Caught in desire, you see only the manifestations.
Yet mystery and manifestations
arise from the same source.
This source is called darkness.
Darkness within darkness.
The gateway to all understanding.
This is the ineffible, unknowable reality above reality, beyond reality, something outside of words, outside of concepts…
This is the “God” of the Kabbalist, (Ain Sof: endless light)
This is the God of the mystic (christian and otherwise) such as Meister Eckhart
“To be full of things is to be empty of God. To be empty of things is to be full of God.”
The Kabbalist (Jewish Mystic, for sake of argument) states ideas such as:
The Nature of God
God is not wht we think It is. God is not a thing, a being, a noun. It does not exist, as existence is defined, for It takes up0 no space and is not bound by time. Jewish mystics often refer to It as Ein Sof, which means Endlessness.
There is no answer to this question; we cannot prove anything about Ein Sof. Rahter, it is a self-reflecting inquiry. Yet when viewed from the perspective of our dynamic relationship with the Divine, it is a self-fulfilling question, for paradoxically the source of the question is the answer it seeks. ‘What would I be without God?’
Consider this question from your inner awareness. Not you the noun, the person you may think you are, but you the verb, the process of being in full relationship, continuously, with its creator. When a question arises wthin you, who is asking the question, and to whom is the question addressed? Assume that there is no ‘me’ to ask the question, and there is no God out there to answer it. The question is part of the process of David-ing and God-ing in a mutual unfolding.
Here we can see that God is NOT God
If we return to Buddhism the Heart Sutra states:
Body is nothing more than emptiness,
emptiness is nothing more than body.
The body is exactly empty,
and emptiness is exactly body.
The other four aspects of human existence –
feeling, thought, will, and consciousness –
are likewise nothing more than emptiness,
and emptiness nothing more than they.
All things are empty:
Nothing is born, nothing dies,
nothing is pure, nothing is stained,
nothing increases and nothing decreases. So, in emptiness, there is no body,
no feeling, no thought,
no will, no consciousness.
There are no eyes, no ears,
no nose, no tongue,
no body, no mind.
There is no seeing, no hearing,
no smelling, no tasting,
no touching, no imagining.
There is nothing seen, nor heard,
nor smelled, nor tasted,
nor touched, nor imagined.
There is no ignorance,
and no end to ignorance.
There is no old age and death,
and no end to old age and death.
There is no suffering, no cause of suffering,
no end to suffering, no path to follow.
There is no attainment of wisdom,
and no wisdom to attain.
The Bodhisattvas rely on the Perfection of Wisdom,
and so with no delusions,
they feel no fear,
and have Nirvana here and now. +
All the Buddhas,
past, present, and future,
rely on the Perfection of Wisdom,
and live in full enlightenment.
The Perfection of Wisdom is the greatest mantra.
It is the clearest mantra,
the highest mantra,
the mantra that removes all suffering.
Here we see the Heart Sutra telling us that God is transcendent and immanent, that God is not God
If we return to christianity again:
Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost.’
St. Athanasius of Alexandria, a pillar of orthodoxy during the fourth century, insisted upon the divine being’s exuberance. The divine being, ineffably more alive that we are, cannot be self-contained and barren but has to be Father, forever bringing forth his son from the womb of his own substance. This continual begetting is a movement of being which is essentially fruitful. Our human experience of parenting is only an analogy for the perfect generation in the divine being, where there is no before and after, no differentiation into male and female, and where the one brought forth is not inferior to the parent. This vision of God continually pouring forth his very being would inspire Meister Eckhart a millennium later to speak of God in terms of molten metal which is always boiling over. The son‘s coming forth from the Father is a non-stop act of both begetting and giving birth.
Thus for the Christian tradition the divine reality is essentially personal. The three are not merely aspects of some impersonal substrate, nor are they separate individuals. The doctrine of the Trinity states that ultimate reality is a communion of persons, each dwelling in the others. Here relationship is of the essence. And this communion of persons is the truth and exemplar of all being. In particular it is the hope to which we human beings aspire. We come alive when our eyes meet those of the one who loves us, for we then find our center outside ourselves in the other, and in so doing we touch the mystery of transcendence.
By falling in love we leave behind our own isolation and break away from our old, limited way of life, which is now revealed as loneliness and incompletion. And, even more, in the unromantic daily struggle of active loving, in relationship, we find out who we really are. That is the context in which we can ask about God for it is then that we most resemble God. The Trinity goes beyond both solitude and the mutual opposition of Dualism, for God, as St. John says, is love.”
-–father symeon burholt
And finally we get a clear idea if we turn to Gnosticism, and the Gospel of Philip (note that of course many Gnostics were highly influenced by Buddhism, in fact one branch even boasts that their leader was the reincarnation of Lao Tzu)
Light and Darkness, life and death, right and left, are brothers of one another. They are inseparable. Because of this neither are the good good, nor evil evil, nor is life life, nor death death. For this reason each one will dissolve into its earliest origin. But those who are exalted above the world are indissoluble, eternal.
Names given to the worldly are very deceptive, for they divert our thoughts from what is correct to what is incorrect. Thus one who hears the word “God” does not perceive what is correct, but perceives what is incorrect. So also with “the Father” and “the Son” and “the Holy Spirit” and “life” and “light” and “resurrection” and “the Church (Ekklesia)” and all the rest – people do not perceive what is correct but they perceive what is incorrect, unless they have come to know what is correct. The names which are heard are in the world [...] deceive. If they were in the Aeon (eternal realm), they would at no time be used as names in the world. Nor were they set among worldly things. They have an end in the Aeon.
One single name is not uttered in the world, the name which the Father gave to the Son; it is the name above all things: the name of the Father. For the Son would not become Father unless he wore the name of the Father. Those who have this name know it, but they do not speak it. But those who do not have it do not know it.
We see things as we are
Not as they are
There are no mundane things outside of Buddhism,
and there is no Buddhism outside of mundane things.
And I am sown in all; and you collect me from wherever you wish.
–Attributed to Christ, found in the Gospel of Eve
June 1, 2009
Over the millenia sacred knowledge survived not because the
manuscrips by the masters were preserved in well-kept libraries,
but because the oral transmission and a living spiritual
presence continued, because in each traditional world in which such
knowledge survived the Logos continued to illuminate the minds and in
fact the whole being of certain people who belonged with all their
heart and soul to the religion lying at the heart of that
The realization of traditional knowledge could not but be accorded to
to a disciplined practice kept hidden…
The realization of sacred knolwdge, therefore, has always been tied
to the possibilities which tradition makes available. Obviously,
therefore, if sacred knowledge is taken seriously both in its
essence and as it has existed in human history, it cannot be
separted from revelation, religion, tradition, and orthodoxy.
The army of psuedo-masters who roam the earth today cannot make
a plant whose roots have been severed bloom no matter how many
beautiful words or ideas they seek to draw from the
inexhautable treasury of sapience to be found in both East and
West. The possibilities in the human intellect, which must be
actualized in order for man to attain in a real and permanent
manner sacred knowledge, cannot be actualized save by the Intellect,
the Logos, and those objective manifestaions of the Logos which
constitute the various religions.
Anyone who claims to perform such as a function by himself and
independent of a living tradition is in reality claiming to be
himself the Logos or the manifestation of the Logos…
(Knowledge and the Sacred , 290)”.