Smile! It – is just that simple. Smiling literally lights up our face. We shine when we smile. When we are at our best, we are smiling. When we are in love, we smile more. When we are satisfied, we smile. When we are joyful we smile.
The Eight-Fold Path lies at the core of Buddhist teachings. The eight practices are designed to help us to align our lives more closely to Dharma – our divine potential. Each of the practices : right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration and right understanding helps to channelize our energy towards spiritual realization. The word “samyak” is translated as “right” – but it could also be translated as “good”, “accurate” or “well-done”. In this case, these things are “right” when they take us closer to our spiritual self. Spiritual practice is not something limited to the moments we spend with our eyes closed on a meditation cushion. It is a way of life. Every moment presents us with the opportunity to live from a deep place of harmony with our soul, and these eight points help us to reflect on the different ways we can train ourselves to remain aligned. I was recently asked to give a presentation at a spiritual conference on “Samyak Karmanta” – or “Right Action” so this article will limit itself to just reflecting on that point. Read more
If you would like to feel more love in your life, there is a guaranteed method to open your heart: do selfless service. We all have an inherent human need to feel we are contributing towards making the world a better place. Altruism is not just a characteristic of a few special saintly people that we admire from afar – it is our part of our true nature. If we are not expressing our need to feel that we are helping others, something is missing, and we feel depressed, lonely, empty – even when we may seem to have everything we need on other levels.
I am speaking from personal experience. In my early 20s I went through a very dark period in my life, and I was suffering from a deep depression. Something was missing in my life – but I wasn’t sure what it was. My attempts to understand myself had only led me deeper into an inner labyrinth – the more I analyzed my depression, the more reasons I seemed to find to be depressed. Depression, though, is a wonderful catalyst for personal and spiritual growth – and indeed, it led me to begin my own personal quest to understand the meaning of life. This led me to the local library where I began to systematically devour the section on spirituality – reading wisdom teachings from many different sources which gave me the thrilling realization that they were all saying remarkably similar things. Read more
“Existence without juice is dry and tasteless” – Robert Svobodha
Like many sanskrit words, Rasa has multiple layers of meaning, each which contribute to a more complete understanding of its subtler dimensions. In its simplest, most mundane definition, Rasa means “juice”. It is also associated with the sense of taste. In order to taste anything – it becomes a juice before we can sense taste properly – the salivary glands produce saliva which emulsify food into a liquid. If the tongue were to be thoroughly dried off and then you put a piece of food on its surface, it will be difficult to sense its taste. Rasa is also referred to in Ayurvedic medicine as the stage of digestion when food has mixed with digestive fluids and becomes a “juice” which will then be absorbed into the bloodstream – or in Ayurvedic terms converted into “Rakta”. However, this isn’t the definition that we are most interested in. Rasa refers to not only the physical “juice” which gives us the sensation of taste – but that inner essence in all types of experiences that give us the feeling of “sweetness” or “sourness”, bitterness etc..
Since the film “The Secret” was released, there has been a lot of buzz about the “Law of Attraction” – often focused on enhancing our wealth, health and material success. This is natural – it is natural that all beings seek pleasure, happiness and comfort. Anything that promises to help us to achieve these objectives is bound to attract our attention and capture our imagination. Understanding and utilizing the “Law of Attraction” by focusing on positive thoughts in order to magnetize the things we want to experience and have into our lives promises just that. However, is material success a sign of an enlightened, positive, spiritually elevated mind? This point of view seems to me to be deeply problematic. Read more
Journal entries – Training Center
The River in Kvelde
I feel the roaring of the river calling to me all day. Every day I am drawn, I have to go to the bridge, so I can breathe again more freely. So mysterious, exciting, fascinating. The swirling, Read more
When I am swimming deep in the Spirit Current
every thought is heard and received
as an offering of beauty that leaves no trace
as watercolors of sunset glowing on clouds
When I drift into the World’s babbling Stream
I create beauty, not for the silent Listener
but for myself – a beautiful story to fall in love with
constant glances to the mirror
Renunciation – is it self-denial,
a tortuous kind of thing?
or is it just editing
cutting away all of the extraneous bits
refining, condensing, like poetry
getting to the essence, sculpting
chipping away everything else
to release the pure form within…
January 2007 Bucharest