Friday, June 30, 2006

Guru Yoga

One of the most wonderful moments in my life was when I first made eye contact with the Dalai Lama. I was attending his two week long spring teachings at his monastery in India, standing along the path he makes as he leaves the courtyard. The experience I had totally caught me off guard. It was like a rush of light and love and acceptance and confidence erupted like a geyser within me as soon as our eyes met. I was filled with devotional love, a smile filled my face, and my hands naturally touched in prayer and offering to this holy, holy soul walking and giggling towards me.

This experience is not unique to me at all. People from all over the world flock to India in order to feel his presence. And you really can feel it. It even effected my sleep. I had lucid dreams and remembered five or six dreams every night i was there.

But the point I am trying to make is that the light and love and acceptance and confidence all arose inside of me, out of me. The Dalai Lama was just a spark. I was the flame. Same thing happens when you fall in love, i think. When you fall in love, when you swoon and melt into the eyes of your lover, all those feelings of perfection and adoration arise within YOU. They are coming from your own being, your own presence, your own mind. The lover is just the spark, the igniter of all that love. The spiritual teacher, the guru, the mountains, the ocean, the art, and ultimately even your own reflection in the mirror can become the Beloved and throw you into the fire of love, sometimes so forcefully you feel as if are literally falling. Falling for hours and hours, the wind, the weightlessness, the freedom, the rush, all happening inside your belly and heart.

So, by seeing the Dalai Lama or any teacher as a manifestation of pure love, as the Christ, as the perfection of god, the teacher’s presence has the ability to transform your mind and therefore you life forever. True, it might seem like you are RECIEVING all these new and wonderful qualities. But in reality you are really only experiencing your own qualities and potentials being seen, coming up to the front of your awareness, awakened and inspired, and then projected. It all arises from within. It is not given, but is intrinsic to your very nature.

The universe is creative, and at our core, we are the universe, each of us a center of awareness for the universe to perceive itself. If you believe that we were created in the image of God, then He created us creative. We are all artists. Each of us is a mirror reflecting our own true nature, a reflection of the Creator. Each of us has everything god has as our very nature and soul. We are His very reflection. (Here, it appears that God is the creator and the created, the alpha and omega, the ground and goal, source and summit, the cause and the effect, each reflecting and embracing and becoming the other forever and ever.

So, if you notice right now, you are reflecting the universe with your mind, seeing it with your eyes, hearing it with your ears, feeling it with your body. This is already happening, it takes no effort on your part. You are born with this mirror capacity.

A fascinating thing begins to dawn, though. And that is that the mirror itself never changes; its reflecting capacity never wavers. Only the experiences and sensations it's reflecting change: only the objects in the mirror. Things come and go, a river of experiences flow by, and the reflective film or shine that is consciousness remains unscratched and unchanged. It also begins to dawn on me that the mirror is never apart or separate from its objects, but instead gives them their very existence. And, at the same time, the reflections give existence to the mirror. Both paradoxically merge as one happening, one play of light occurring, empty of meaning and substance, and also over-flowing with meaning and substance. Empty of separatness and thus full of fullness; the empty mirror.

My painting teacher awoke a similar confidence and love inside me that the Dalai Lama did. When he was with me I looked into his eyes and made believe he knew everything, which wasn't hard to do since he seemed to be a limitless reservoir of knowledge and experience, and he laughed alll the time.

Artists are constantly observing and experimenting, reorganizing old knowledge while gathering new facts and exploring new imagery and techniques. And, on top of that, the artist is supposed to be genuinely human and honest, as well as an original thinker. This can be very discouraging to most people, leaving many repelled from even trying. But when we have a teacher there with us, someone we can imagine holding all the knowledge and experience of a master, then our own knowledge and experience can arise to be projected onto the teacher. With my teacher, I felt like we were in a sacred and secret conversation all the time. it was so exciting. As a student I was awakening my own inner knowledge by resonating with my teacher’s creative energy. But this could only have occurred in direct relation with my ability to open, accept, and receive. It's like I surrendered to the knowledge of the teacher, and immediately a connection was established between the rhythm of me-a beginner-to the reservoir of liberated forces residing within the teacher. And all he had to do was be present with me.

In the teacher’s presence, there occurs an atmosphere of acceptance and inspiration, fearlessness and creativity, where it seems anything can be imagined and all connections can be made. I’m talking about my painting teacher, but any spiritual teacher or lover can create this atmosphere.
Now, even just looking at a picture of the Dalai Lama can bring back that rush of confidence and compassion.

I thought of this when I was spending time with my friend Kamaji at the gallery. He is so calm and still and graceful. While looking at his face the waves of my mind are calmed, my posture straightens, and my breathing becomes deeper. I am at the same time thrilled to see him. I now understand that the reason he seems so beautiful and peaceful is because he awakens that peace and mindfulness within me.

All these pictures were from today. The red bike is mine.


David said...

Such peaceful, beautiful words. Thank you.

Also i love the photos, that picture in the paper, you look so proud of yourself. And rightly so, you flame.

~Kelley~ said...

I like this picture, David..

And I like this passage, it's beautiful..


May all beings be Free and in Love.

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