Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Obsession With Wealth

At an early retreat the monks spoke of several obsessions that in essence are forms of madness. Among these obsessions are: obsession with a man or a woman, obsession with God and obsession with wealth.

Few consider that an obsession with wealth and the madness born of it also includes obsession with the wealth of others. We are seeing this largely in certain protest movements and political circles with redistribution (socialist/progressive) agendas.

Who would you perceive to be the mad one: The person who has attained prosperity through his or her labor and/or Grace or the one who is there demanding some of that wealth while chattering about fairness and greed?

Friday, July 27, 2012

Sutra of Love and Hate

Many have written with concerns about the political climate in the USA. The American people elected a being who ran on a platform of change which by ancient definition is closely related to hatred. Now more and more people are getting in touch with suffering.

The ancient seers had a way of distilling simple emotions into understandable terms, very much like sutras. It it is mind that takes what is there and builds to an often incomprehensible level.

Below is a sutra of love and hate:
"To love is to accept.
To hate is to desire change."

Years ago, a woman came to one of the retreats and announced that she was an embodiment of unconditional love. She wanted to hug everyone. She wore pink. There was a heart design on her shirt.

Later that day she spoke of her son and how she loved him unconditionally. I asked her what she would change about him if she could. She replied that she wished that he was not so lazy, would get better grades and that she would like to take him to get a hair cut and eat better. Sometimes he is rude to her and she would definately like that to change. As for her beloved husband, she wished he was this and this and this. It was quite a list. In any case that is not unconditional love. It is something else.

Take a moment now and look into your heart, find the desire to change. It is there you will find the hatred that you carry. Who is it that you would like to change the most? Is it you? See these things.

Do not try to change anything that is there as that would just be hating the hatred. Of what good would that be to you to be a hater of hatred? Just see what is there.

Look into your heart once again, and see what it is that you accept, what you embrace. What is it that you can just let be as it is? Is there one thing that is there that you would not change if you could?

This practice is a very ancient an effective way of realizing your condition. Of seeing why it is we suffer and cause others to suffer so. This realization of the condition is the very first step of a mystical, God centered path to enlightenment.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Wealth Blame And Consciousness

I spent some time with an enlightened sanyasi in India who was working for the transformation and enlightenment of several villages.

He told me that when this project was first started, if there was a common denominator in the fallen state of many of the people and in unenlightened societies in general. It was a hatred of, a mistrust of and a blaming of the rich.

As the consciousness was raised and the ignorance (that was very often behind the suffering of poverty or financial lack) was uprooted and states of Oneness were experienced, the people began to respect, bless and be happy for the more fortunate.

Thus the karma improved and poverty or material lack fell away. Laws of cause and effect were realized and personal responsibility was taken for ones actions or inactions and decisions. Many people began to discover their destiny-the life's work that brings the being joy. They too enjoyed an increase in prosperity.

It has long been realized by enlightenment cultures if there blaming there is not enough focus on the internal condition of suffering to help the person become enlightened. To blame is a game of the ego. There is a theme in the USA of blaming the rich. This dangerous pastime can lead to a retrograde culture and bring suffering to the land. History shows this.

The Golden Age is a period of prosperity and enlightenment. It can help a spiritual seeker's state to consider for a moment perhaps the wealthy are beings who have entered the Golden Age which is a state of consciousness as well as an astrological event.

When consciousness raises more and more wealthy people will emerge. As consciousness lessens the ego moves in and there is a great tendancy to try and lay blame. In general the individual or society falls deep into debt.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Universe As A Sacred Horse

Brahadaranyaka Upanishad means the Great Forest Books. It begins with the description of the Universe as a Sacred or Sacrificial Horse:

"The head of is verily the Dawn; the eye of the Horse is the Sun; the vital force, the Air; the open mouth is the fire named Vaisvanara (lightening); the trunk is the year; the back, Heaven; the belly, the sky; the hoof, the earth; the flanks, the four directions; the ribs, the intermediate directions; the limbs, the seasons; the joints, the months and fortnights; the feet, the days and nights; the bones, the stars; the flesh, the clouds; the half-digested food (in the stomach), the sands; the arteries and veins, the rivers; the liver and spleen, the mountains; the hair, the herbs and trees; the forepart, the rising sun; the hind part, the setting sun. Its yawn is lightning, His body shakes, it thunders, he makes water -it rains, his voice is indeed all voices."

To meditate on and assume the divine qualities of the horse, the speed, the dynamic nature, devotion, power, faithfulness, grace, courage, strength is to realize an ultimate truth beyond the five senses, to enter Brahmaloka, the highest of the heavens.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Enlightenment and Debt

Before going to Satyaloka there was about 6 months of intense preparation. Somewhere in this blog is a list of the sadhanas (spiritual practices) that we adhered to. The monk that had come to help us prepare told me to also please be sure that I was out of debt. Material debt attacks personal power. It can be a great hindrence to spiritual development and liberation. Consider versions of the Lord's Prayer. "Forgive us our debts."

Just as the microcosm impact the macrocosm, the macrocosm deeply impacts the microcosm. There is personal karma, village karma, national karma and so on. If you think the debt of your country is not affecting your own spiritual development, think again. How are you separate? National debt can be a huge obstacle to transformation and enlightenment.

Take for example the United States. The federal government has not had a budget for over 2 years. Have you been able to adhere to your own household budget due to rising costs?

Consider for a moment that it took 42 presidents 224 years to run up $1 trillion dollars in foreign held dept. In the three some years that the current president has been in office the federal debt has increased by over 4 trillion dollars. This is more than the total national debt accumulated by all the United States Presidents in USA history from George Washington to George Bush combined.

During this short time, statics say the federal government has borrowed an additional $35,000+ for every American household. That is close to $45k for every full time private sector worker. In 986 days following the 2008 election, the debt increased at an average rate of over 4 and a quarter billion a day.

Do you ever stop to consider how this will impact your children and their children and their children and so on-the sins (karma) of the fathers?

"Blessed are the young for they shall inherit the national debt." Herbert Hoover

Read more: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/h/herbert_hoover.html#ixzz1nVOMTlfN

To see the USA national debt real time visit http://www.usdebtclock.org/.

To see a global comparison on how your country measures up click on the title of this post or visit http://www.economist.com/content/global_debt_clock.

Be aware that among the obstacles to transformation and enlightenment, large material and karmic debt are among the largest and most formidable.

The Chicken Sees

There was a guru who one morning gave each of his 2 disciples a chicken.

He told them, "Each of you, go now and take your chicken to a place where no one will see, kill it and return to me."

The men walked away into the forest.

After a brief time one of the disciples returned with a dead chicken and presented it to the guru. Day turned into night and then into day. The guru waited. Just around sunset, the second disciple returned carrying the chicken that he had been given. It was very much alive.

The guru looked at him and said, "I told you to go to a place where no one will see and kill the chicken."

The man hung his head and replied, "Yes, Guruji. But everywhere I go, the chicken sees."

Friday, February 24, 2012

Kali Yuga

According to Vedic scriptures during Kaliyuga, the current age of darkness and ignorance:

Rulers will become unreasonable: they will levy taxes unfairly. Rulers will no longer see it as their duty to promote spirituality, or to protect their people and they will become a danger to the world.

All rulers occupying the earth in the Kali Age will be lacking tranquillity, but will be strong in anger, taking pleasure at all times in lying and dishonesty, prone to take the few meager possessions of others, with character that is mostly tamas (of darkeness ignorance, destruction, sloth), rising to power and soon falling. They will be short-lived, ambitious, of little virtue, nd greedy.

People will migrate seeking countries where wheat and barley are the staple food.

Avarice and wrath will be common, men will openly display animosity towards each other. Ignorance of dharma will occur. Lust will be viewed as being socially acceptable. People will have thoughts of murder for no justification, and they will see nothing wrong with this.

There will be no respect for animals.

Religion, truthfulness, cleanliness, tolerance, mercy, duration of life, physical strength and memory will all diminish day by day because of the powerful influence of the age of Kali.

In Kali-yuga, wealth alone will be considered the sign of a man's good birth, right behavior and fine qualities. And law and justice will be applied only on the basis of one's power.

A sacred place will be taken to consist of no more than a reservoir of water located at a distance, and beauty will be thought to depend on one's hairstyle. Filling the belly will become the goal of life, and one who is audacious will be accepted as truthful. He who can maintain a family will be regarded as an expert man, and the principles of religion will be observed only for the sake of reputation.

The End of The Western Horse Culture?

I moved in to an area of small ranches and horse properties in the Phoenix area about a decade ago. It was more common to see horses and riders on the road that automobiles. There are hitching posts at the convenience stores and at many homes. There is one in my front yard even. It was wonderful to live among so many horses.

The sound of hooves, their scent in the air, a soft whinny, how they called to other from ranch to ranch, the long legged wobbly beauty of the foals, the love in the mares' eyes, the grace with which they bore any burden, their joy over a few handfulls of hay, the hooves thundering in a cloud of dust. At night there would be campfires where modern day cowboys would gather and sing.

I was on the porch last evening when it struck me. I no longer smelled horses. In a landscape once rich with horses a couple short months ago there was not a single horse in sight. I ran to the back. There were no horses there anymore! Many of the horse properties are vacant now. Not too many families can afford to take care of horses anymore. Others, worried about rising hay and water costs, and rising vet fees, sold or gave their horses away before some really hard decisions had to be made.

As the economy suffered so did the horses. People lost their homes. Some could no longer afford to feed their horses or afford gasoline for their pick ups to bring in hay. Some turned their horses loose in the desert- a sure death. Others killed them in sad and terrible ways thinking it better than starvation. Many just could not afford to have their starving horses euthanized and removed. Some neglected horses were taken in and sometimes euthanized by rescue groups or the county, yet another terrible casualty of the Obama administration's failed economic policies.

As a result of all this, on November 18, Barrack Obama signed into law a spending bill that restored the American horse slaughter industry. That Thankgiving one turkey was pardoned in front of worldwide media, while behind the scenes, millions of horses were condemned to death. Slaughter was to be the Obama administration's solution in part for the abandonment and neglect born of the economic crisis. It is recorded that he signed the spending bill by autopen, using the automated signature device for the second time only in his presidency. In doing so, breaking yet another campaign promise-a promise to ban the slaughter of horses in the USA, including the export of horses to Canada and Mexico for slaughter.

I wept when I heard this, wondering what other matter was of such little significance to him that bill did not even warrant being signed by hand. Perhaps he did not have the heart. Or maybe it was a matter of not having the courage. Maybe he just plain did not give a rat's ass. In any case the American taxpayers will now subsidize a foreign owned industry that exports horsemeat. These are animals not traditionally raised as food in the USA, but that is likely to change.

November 18, the day the bill was signed, was also the day of the East Asia Summit in Indonesia. Barrack Obama was said to be the first USA president to attend this conference. Much of the focus was on helping to open up markets to American exports. Horsemeat could soon be on our export list.

What would compell the government to want to to get back into the horse meat export business when the current administration appears to be more focused on destroying industry and jobs in the USA? On the other hand horse slaughterhouses traditionally burden a community with considerable environment enforcement costs. Surely a horse slaughterhouse in any community would drive away good businesses and stress the people as well as the economy. Anyone who has ever heard the screams of a terrified or dying horse can attest to that. Just the thought of it can reduce a grown man to tears. Perhaps the horse slaughterhouses are part of Barrack Obama's green jobs agenda, subsidized more often than not on the backs of the taxpayers. A bloody, hard won, 178 (roughly) low paying jobs.

A horse slaughterhouse may open in Arizona before long. A grim sign of the times-a monument to one more American tragedy arising from failed leadership and broken promises to the American people.