Things I Know for Sure

Most-Beautiful-Sunrise-07 My coming radio show (this Friday at 10 a.m. PST), "Things I Know for Sure," is a reflection on the Truth as it has manifested in my life over 40-some years, and speaking as someone who, as a child, was immersed in the world of the Three Principles of Mr. Sydney Banks. I also speak from my experience as as an avid reader, writer and journalist, a researcher, a scholar and lover of many spiritual traditions.

In this show, as a general theme in my life at this time, I will reflect on what these many various traditions have in common. What is the common truth we might all be able to trust in? How do the Three Principles relate to that truth?

And, as a follow up to the recent webinar I did with Sheela Masand (in Spain), I am posting here some of my favorite quotes from various spiritual authors I have read that seem to me to have a common thread.

I start with Mr. Sydney Banks himself from his DVD set, "The Hawaii Lectures," and the DVD entitled "Going Home."

"The Buddha told you: 'You are the world.' You create the world you live in. Yet, you have to find this for yourself. Listen carefully. Not just to what I'm saying, [but] to some wise person that YOU think knows the secret. You can go to the library, you can find the Truth. You can go to the church of your choice and find it. You can go to a Kahuna and find it. You can go anywhere in the world, and once you know what Truth is, you'll hear it spoken all over the world. You'll hear it on a day-to-day basis.

"But you’ve got to listen, not with your ears. You don’t look with your eyes. It’s beyond the senses. It lies deep in here [points to chest/heart]. And once that secret comes out and is divulged to YOU, it’s a secret that cannot be told. It cannot be told by words. It has to be found within your own soul, because your own soul holds that secret.

"And what stops you from getting in here [points to chest] is your own thinking ... You could also call it Ego. [But] ego is a delusion. It’s non-existent."

From Gangaji, and her book (my favorite), You Are That:

"Living truth, whether it comes from the historical Buddha, or from the beggar on the street, is true nourishment ... I once heard it said that religion is the tracks where something alive once passed. In the tracks, there may be a great emanation of power and truth. If the tracks can serve to inspire you to turn to truth, then they are to be honored. Follow the tracks to their source."

From Ramana, from the book The Spiritual Teachings of Ramana Maharishi:

 "Know that you are really the infinite, pure Being, the Self Absolute. You are always that Self and nothing but that Self ... Know then that true Knowledge does not create a new Being for you; it only removes your ignorance. Bliss is not added to your nature; it is merely revealed as your true and natural state, eternal, imperishable. The only way to be rid of your grief is to know and be the Self. How can this be unattainable?"

From Toni Packer, The Work of this Moment:

"Why did the Buddha say in parting, 'Be a lamp unto yourself--take only the Truth for your refuge'? Why do we seek refuge in things created by thought and memory? ... Human beings communicate, commune with each other freely and lovingly only when the mind is not anchored in any system whatsoever--when there is a coming together empty-handedly.

"With any division into groups there inevitably arises the feeling: 'The group is me' ... In facing our own deep-seated need for security and belonging, can we see the immense attachment and dependency on groups and organizations? Can we see the need to feel that our organization, our religion, is superior to all others? And can we see what that does to us?"

From me:

The formless Truth is so vast and infinite as to encompass all forms of Truth, and go beyond all of them. It goes beyond any form of individual or personality, Jesus, Buddha, Moses, Abraham, Ramana, Sydney Banks, as much as they are to be honored and loved. It is both within and beyond any posture or form of the body--health or disease. In the end, the Truth is you. It has never not been You.

Everyone has been pointing you in this direction. Inside. You then discover what is inside you, what is outside you, what is everywhere. You discover Home, and you discover that Home has no location. It cannot be contained and encapsulated in a specific formulation of Truth. As helpful as all those formulations, all those past insights, all those beautiful teachers have been, they do not "contain" the Truth.

The Truth is a moving, flowing river--fullness, allness, Alive. And it is Nothing. Quiet, silence, Ground Zero, stillness. It lies in the unknown, past everything you have ever thought. And all of this is You.

 
Join me this Friday!
With Love,
Your Mystical Mama

Postcard from the Front Porch

How are you all?

I thought I'd check in on this lazy blog of mine. We get several hundred visitors (400? 500?) per month here--nothing stunning by blogging standards--but I do consider all of you my friends, and I so appreciate your coming back from time to time to check in on me, even though my blogs land here erratically.

And once again, How are we?

I was visited recently by Jenny and Rudi Kennard of the amazing 3 Principles Movies website--a site featuring hours of totally inspirational 3 Principles-based audio & video footage that this young and energetic couple collected using their own monies and volunteering their time.

They sent me the video blog they've posted of their recent travels, and I noticed that in the midst of the elegant offices and fab kitchens of many other 3P "practitioners," their footage of my own front porch showed a sort of shabby, cluttered entryway--and me opening a front door that started to need paint many years ago. All the rest of the footage of me was with my kids--as is the norm these days, especially with school out.

"On the Front Porch" with Kid (Tori Elle) and Chantal Burns from England

 And so, here I am! My front porch, the nominal inspiration for my radio show, "On the Front Porch with Ami Chen," is indeed rather ragged. The paint on its cement steps peeling horribly. Scattered about in a thoroughly unorganized fashion are garden tools, snail bait (organic! so they say ... ), lots of shoes (thankfully, mostly in pairs), and a shoe organizing contraption that is, of course, completely empty.

Filling in any otherwise clear, uncluttered space would be the children's various formal and informal arts and crafts projects, plastic cups, hair bands, twigs ... that have made it out from the car but not quite through our front door and into the garbage, or onto shelves.

The whole thing is terribly unimpressive. We have plans to blow it out completely and create a spectacular sun room/entryway/mudroom type space, everything in its place. But who knows when this will happen? Perhaps next month. Perhaps never.

In the meantime, Life continues. And here I am. I used to be "waiting for" things to change and "happen," for more money to be coming in, a new "level" of work to unfold--and while these things have happened, I have discovered that "waiting" is a waste of time. It is endless. And endless distraction.

My next radio show on "Money and Support," (this coming Friday, July 13) will be all about this--the constant leaning into the future we do, expecting something "better" to come along, whether that be more money, a better job, a better relationship, or even a better state of mind. This constant leaning is a direct interference with our experience of Reality as it is. Now. The wonder of what is!

This leaning, I have discovered for myself, can be into the next year or the next five years and beyond. Or it can be into "when the kids finally fall asleep," "when this traffic clears up," "when I finish cooking dinner," "when I can finally work on that book project," "when I lose 15 pounds," "when I get so-and-so's approval," "when I experience enlightenment," "when I can find some time to meditate," or any time after this moment.


Just not this moment, God forbid! I can't relax now! Look at this mess!

We would then have to accept our circumstances, internal and external, exactly as they are.

Yet in this stopping, this relaxing, this acceptance, we discover the depths of Life, God, Love itself. We discover who and what we are.

Life is so incredibly short, and yet we spend so much of our Thought energy, and resulting emotional and physical energy on trying to distinguish and decorate it (the personal life) in various ways. We miss, in these efforts, the overarching fact that Life Is. That one is part of Life, and the absolute miracle of That.

We become entangled in the particulars of our own lives, and we miss the constant support we receive, always, from the Energy of Life--that Universal Mind, with which we are one.

I have learned to surrender: to the porch, to life, to the children, the husband, to the Truth as I see it (and as unpopular as my current opinions may be). Surrender to disapproval. Surrender to nothing-to-be-done-about-it. All of it is what is. And here I am, what I am. What I gloriously am!

Past, future, goals, obstacles, problems, "not enough" ... All require a sort of "fantasy projection" that distracts us from Stillness, now, and the impersonal gratitude of Consciousness recognizing Itself in everything it sees and hears and feels and touches. All of it!

So, here I am. My family and I muddling through the summer, summer camps, camping. ... We've been hosting visitors like Jenny and Rudi, Robert Jackson (of the "A Quiet Mind" podcast), Drs. Bill and Linda Pettit, brave 3 Principles colleagues. All of it a blessing beyond belief ... Heading out soon to Grass Valley, later in the summer, Kauai. Exasperation with children. Complete exhaustion from time to time. Forgetting to surrender. Surrender. Love. Intimacy. Peeling porch. Joy and laughter. New ridiculously cute puppy. There will be a garage sale, a new drop-in class in Santa Cruz, a larger retreat in North Carolina in September. How will any of these events "go?"

Who knows?

Does it matter?

During my interview with her, the renown spiritual teacher Gangaji and I spoke of "stopping," a word, she said, that has no end. "Surrender" too, she said, is another such word. No end to surrender!

I surrender to this Life. All I have, will ever have, have ever had. All of it collapsed into this one moment, Consciousness, Formlessness, regarding itself in form after form after form. An endless entertainment, springing from Love itself.

From this space of surrender, I greet you, my Friend. Are you in the midst of your own surrender? To every experience? Every thought? Every state of mind? Letting it go, letting it be ... No effort to control, get rid of or gain anything.

Perhaps one day, we will sit together on my old and shabby, or chic and spiffy, new front porch

 ... and simply laugh.

With Love from

Your Mystical Mama

Just Stop!

The truth of who you are is utterly simple. It is closer than your thoughts, closer than your heartbeat, closer than your breath.

If you believe your thoughts to be real, if you follow your thoughts as the basis of reality, you will continually overlook what is closer, what has been calling you throughout time, saying,

"You are here! You are home!"

...

This is a time of the ordinary awakening. This means you.

--From The Diamond in Your Pocket, Gangaji

Thought is not reality, yet it is through Thought that our realities are created.

--From The Missing Link, Sydney Banks

Can there be simple awareness of what's going on, without making something of it? ... All seeing matters. Not just seeing feelings, but seeing their total interconnectedness with thought.

... It happens, when there is pure seeing, there is wisdom.

--From The Light of Discovery, Toni Packer