You Are What You Seek

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Dattatreya

You Are What You Seek, by Fr. Richard Rohr

On that day, you will know that you are in me and I am in you. John 14:20

“That day” is usually a long time in coming for most of us. We hold on to the illusion of a separate self as long as we can. Yet this process of transformation has been the enduring invitation of every great religion in history. Divine–and thus universal–union is the core message and goal of all healthy religion.

The spiritual wisdom of divine union is first beautifully expressed in writing in the Vedas. . . . .  One of its “grand pronouncements” is Tat Tvam Asi in Sanskrit. This condensed wisdom might be translated in any of these ways:

YOU are That!

You ARE what you seek!

THOU art That!

THAT you are!

You are IT!

The meaning of this saying is that the True Self–in its original, pure, primordial state–is wholly or partially identifiable or even identical with God, the Ultimate Reality that is the ground and origin of all phenomena. That which you long for, you also are. In fact, that is where the longing comes from.

Longing for God and longing for our True Self are the same longing. The mystics would say it is God who is even doing the longing in us and through us (as the Divine Indwell[er] or the Holy Spirit). God implanted a natural affinity and allurement between God’s Self and all of God’s creatures. The limited and the Limitless would otherwise be incapable of union; the finite and the Infinite could never be reconciled into one. There must be a point of similarity!

[Satyabhama:   Jesus, the Christ/Annointed One/Initiated One, was an Amsha/Partial Avatar. His mission was to teach the understandings of the Vedas and Upanishads to the West.  His sacrifice was to take on the karma of the West, which included his death. His innovation was to emphasize the understanding of God as All Love and to teach people to love others as we love ourselves.]

Religion has only one absolute job description: to make one out of two and one out of many. For Christians, this is “the Christ Mystery” whereby we believe God overcame the gap from God’s side. St. Augustine called it “prevenient grace,” meaning that grace exists prior to and without reference to anything humans may have done or can do, “or grace would not be grace at all” (see Romans 11:6 and Ephesians 2:8-10).  The initiative is always from God’s side. The deepest human need and longing is to overcome this separateness, the distance from what seems “over there” and “beyond me,” namely, a transcendent God/Reality/Universe. God overcomes the gap in Christ and in every experience that we allow to be graced. I have come to believe that the essence of an authentic God experience is the utter gratuity of it and the new gratuitous freedom it creates in the receiver.

God is saying in all incarnations that “I am not totally Other; in fact I am the transcendent within everything here.” Pause and think about that. “I have planted some of myself in all things which forever long for reunion.” If God is perceived as absolute otherness, it eventually creates absolute alienation, which is most of Western civilization today. Add to that any notion of God as petty, angry, or torturing, and the mystical journey comes to a standstill. So God created similarity and compassion, which become visible in the human Jesus to overcome this tragic gap–in a way that we could see, touch, and understand beyond, like an implanted homing device. It works!

[Meditation:] God in me loves God in everything.

Reference:  Adapted from Richard Rohr, Immortal Diamond: The Search for Our True Self (Jossey-Bass: 2013), 95, 98-100.

Duality or Nonduality, That is the Question

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Duality/Dvaita is the I and Thou, a belief of separation between oneself and God (and others.)

Nonduality/Advaita is the Oneness of God/All divine energies and the manifest universe.

There is an interesting story told about this difference of beliefs. In India, sages like disputation with each other. Dattatreya*, an Avadhut and author of the Avadhuta Gita and the first guru to manifest in a body, was strolling through a town, when he came across such a disputation between those advocating Dvaita and those advocating Advaita. He listened to them for awhile, and then he told them, “If you are arguing about these differences, you still have a long way to go” [to enlightenment.]

Duality can be helpful in keeping our ego under control by recognizing that we are not omniscient, also having a place in one’s mind to direct our efforts and prayers.

Nonduality helps us to see the Creator and all Creation as one energy field. Thus, there is understanding that we are part of God and God vibrations are what we are made from. Reminds one of Genesis in the Bible saying that we are made in the image of God.

Nonduality in the heart is the understanding that there is no real separation between ourselves and others. We are all a part of the Divine Whole, and issues of culture and race and personality are seen in that context. Thus, the advanced person lives in Divine Love with all other creatures.

Prem,

Rev. Satyabhama

Sanskritmantra.com

* You will find a whole chapter about Dattatreya and Guru in Ancient Power of Mantra and Ceremony, 3rd Ed., Volume I, Chapter 12.

Dattatreya

Sadguru Dattatreya as the Male Trinity

Converting Hidden Spiritual Racism into Sacred Activism: An Open Letter to Spiritual White Folks

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Converting Hidden Spiritual Racism into Sacred Activism: An Open Letter to Spiritual White Folks by Virginia Rosenberg, Asheville, NC (Intuitive Astrologer and Sacred Movement Arts) Virginia’…

Source: Converting Hidden Spiritual Racism into Sacred Activism: An Open Letter to Spiritual White Folks

Converting Hidden Spiritual Racism into Sacred Activism: An Open Letter to Spiritual White Folks

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Converting Hidden Spiritual Racism into Sacred Activism: An Open Letter to Spiritual White Folks by Virginia Rosenberg, Asheville, NC (Intuitive Astrologer and Sacred Movement Arts)

Virginia’s original blog


July 10, 2016

There is a lurking problem happening within ‘spiritual’ thought and dialogue.

Many people who view themselves as healers, “starseeds,” or spiritual teachers, are doing something dangerous: spreading violence and aggression under the guise of love and light.

In the widespread conversation about race taking place right now, many feel they have good intentions. People are contributing without consciously intending malice. But racism is tricky. Racism is not a simple matter of “being racist” or “’not being racist.” It is a complex, endemic, historical issue that lives within our collective psyche. Sometimes it’s in the background of awareness. Sometimes it’s in the foreground.

But it is always there.
No one wants to own racism.
No one wants to identify with the aggressor.

And yet, abusive ideals pervade our conversations like a wolf in sheep’s clothing. It seems to happen ‘accidentally.’ Unconsciously. Like a Freudian slip. Like a social cancer. It is time to address and correct these covert tendencies. If you care about healing disparity within yourself and in the world, read on.

It can be painful to own racism within ourselves. It can be challenging to our identity, our sense of inner stability, and it can break our hearts. It can bring us to our knees.
But we need to be willing to look.

Because it is more painful to continue forward in ignorance, allowing innocent people to die, or to live in constant fear for their survival. The more we try to distance or protect ourselves from the monster of racism, the deeper its hold becomes.

In times like these, our identity and our hearts need to be challenged and broken. Our foundations need to rumble and shake. For this is the path of breaking open. This is the way to true awakening. It is through direct, willing engagement that we heal into unity within ourselves and the world.

Let us look to our shadow, our greatest teacher. Let us look to what underlies the formation of this nation.

The United States of America was built upon slavery, and the structure of modern society still draws from those roots. Those roots have become parts of ourselves that subtly operate beneath the surface.

Let us move through our darkness, feel it, and learn from it in order to emerge on the other side:

Together. Whole. Intact. In solidarity. In true freedom.
For no one is free until we are all free.

Ways Spiritual Communities Are Participating in Violence, and How to Do Better:

Remaining Unattached:” Choosing to Be Silent

When you choose to remain silent as a way of being “neutral” or “unattached,” you leave space for the problems to persist. This weakens you and your community, leaving us all on shaky ground.
If someone unjustly killed your family member, would you want people to be quiet about it or speak out against it?
Not talking about the issues at hand is a way of avoiding responsibility. When you avoid responsibility, you compromise your power and reinforce injustice.

How to Do Better:

Speak up. Use your voice. Decide where you stand.
Engage in dialogue. Write your local representatives. Make your position clear.
Discuss personal experiences with race. Talk about the current events. Listen to the perspectives others share. Be open to learning more about how racism operates.

“Sending Love and Light:” Distancing Yourself

Some people have the freedom and privilege to distance themselves from suffering. Others do not. Choosing to “send love and light” is too passive when direct loving action is needed. Removing yourself from conflict and hiding behind privilege is a tactic of self-preservation. This act of complacency perpetuates violence and needless death.
If your next-door neighbor was starving to death, and you were aware of it and had agency to make a difference in their fate, would you choose to avoid their house and “send love and light” from the comfort of your bedroom?”
When we have agency to make a difference, it is our responsibility to use it as effectively as possible. When you choose to remove yourself from the situation, you become an ally to violence.

How to Do Better:

Prayer is awesome. By all means send love, send light, and cultivate compassion. But do this in a real, effective way that makes a palpable difference in people’s lives. Pray out loud with others in your community.
Your actions are your prayer. “Pray for rain with a hoe in your hand.” Show up. Stand up for what you feel is right. Find out what people need and how you can help.
Explore your role. Identify your unique contributions and employ them.

“Keeping Your Vibration High:” Encouraging Numbness

Emphasizing “positive vibrations” versus “negative emotions” is another way of perpetuating oppression through distancing yourself.
Beware of giving advice that stems from fear. Telling others to “be the light” when they are experiencing intense emotional reactions is destabilizing and promotes falsehood and confusion. Manipulating the feelings of others is psychologically and emotionally damaging.
This type of advice robs us of personal inner sovereignty. It removes us from an authentic relationship with our inborn navigation system and prevents healing. It also renders us ineffective to deal with reality and contribute to healthy change.

How to Do Better:

Tell the truth. Encourage the expression of emotion, and embrace it. Be present with what arises, without attempting to control or change it.
Honor anger. Anger is clarifying. Anger fuels necessary action. Anger burns like the fires of illumination. Honor sadness. Sadness is cleansing. Sadness cultivates empathy. Sadness heals our hearts and brings us together.
Trust the intelligence of human emotion. Emotions contain valuable information. We need to feel it to heal it. Hold yourself and others, and be with exactly what is. This is keeping your vibration high. This is developing compassion and strength. Expressing true feelings and standing up for justice is spreading light and positivity.

“Emphasizing the Spiritual Perspective:” Negating Reality

This is also known as escapism, denial, or succumbing to fantasy.
We are human beings. That we are spiritual beings does not trump our humanity. We access the spiritual through deepening into our humanity.
Referring to current events as a mere “trigger” displays your distance from centuries of discrimination. Discussing events as “an illusion of the material world” keeps you in an unhealthy illusion that you don’t need to be an agent of change. Retreating to your safe personal cave of “inner peace” can too easily be used as a method of hiding.

How to Do Better:

Deal with WHAT IS. Be PRESENT with REALITY. Visualizing world peace is great. What’s even better taking concrete steps toward building that vision in real time. Seeing the bigger picture and emphasizing faith can be helpful, soothing, and inspiring. Share that if it feels true, but don’t let it eclipse alternate lived realities.
Respect humanity. Yours, and everyone’s. Witness the very real, personal effects of racism and disparity. Put yourself in another person’s shoes. Name the victims of violence and reach out to those who are feeling the impact.
Accept mistakes, imperfections, fallibilities, and vulnerabilities of yourself and others. This will help you take ownership over how disparity exist in your life and motivate change.

“Privileged Preaching:” Wielding Entitlement as The Way

Privileged people are building lifestyles on espousing “Law of Attraction“ type spiritual beliefs, and sharing them with dogmatic insistence. There is an aggressive, holier-than-thou approach that prevails in this behavior.
“We create our own reality.” “Everything happens for a reason.” “What you put out is what you attract.” These are isolating, damaging, victim-blaming thoughts to distribute to people who have endured trauma or suffering as a result of societal madness and centuries-old oppression.
These types of beliefs are homogenizing: they assume a shared life experience background of privilege. Having privilege is emphasized as the norm. Espousing these beliefs reinforces hegemony: keeping those with privilege in a state of dominance over others. This thinking promotes attitudes of entitlement and assumes that having privilege is the “correct” way to be.

How to Do Better:

Humble yourself. Realize there are many things you do not know, and many experiences you may never endure. Accept that your perspective is limited. Get informed. Get off your soapbox. Listen to others. Meet people where they are at.
Recognize that it is easy to espouse spiritual perspectives when you are well-fed and watered, educated, live in a beautiful environment, your life conditions are generally peaceful and secure, and your friends and family for the most part die normal deaths (as in they aren’t systematically deprived resources or senselessly murdered). Countless people on Earth have a much different background than yours. Avoid making assumptions about others or telling others what to believe.
Acknowledge that things going on in our world don’t make sense, and you don’t need to try and make sense of it. Never blame a victim for their suffering.

“Recreating ‘Tribe’:” Barring Diversity from Your Comfort Zone

Many spiritual people are coming together to practice and study wellness through things like yoga, herbalism, and meditation. Coming together to heal with others is a wonderful thing. But there tends to be homogeny within many of these communities: a shared level of privilege, background, and system of belief.
An exclusive culture can develop from these gatherings, and healing power can be limited by this.
Where is the diversity? Who is being invited to share in loving, healing environments? How are people from different backgrounds and belief systems being received?

How to Do Better:

Expand your comfort zone. Build trust and practice healing within wider communities beyond your familiar groups.
Create ease and intentional invitations for people from different backgrounds to participate if they desire. Branch out and explore the social sphere in alternate environments. Learn from teachers of various backgrounds.
Create space for healing communities, communities of color and alternative gender, activist communities, and diverse age-ranges to come together and share stories, perspectives, and needs. Look for ways to bridge experience, knowledge, and skills to support one another in wholeness.

The events that took place in the public sphere this past week are not uncommon. This has been the honest lived reality for people of color in the USA for centuries. Spiritual white people often demonstrate interest in love, peace, and healing.

Here is an opportunity to practice what you preach.
#BlackLivesMatter

Black lives are valuable, beautiful, and absolutely necessary. No more killing. No more discrimination.

No more unconscious racism. No more calculated avoidance.

Open your eyes, ears, and heart. Give your presence. Give your time to these important matters. Give your love.

Demonstrate compassion. Make strides toward building peace. Reach beyond the bubble of spiritual separation and enter the world.
Let’s create REAL healing, beyond boundaries and across communities.

United, we rise.
#BlackLivesMatter
#LoveAlwaysWins

Avadhuts, Satgurus and Amsha Avatars

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In May, our India Pilgrimage will visit the Kaali temple, Dakshineshwar, made famous by Ramakrishna’s enlightenment teaching.  Come with us; we still have places available.  For more details, see India Pilgrimage on the top line of SanskritMantra.com.

It is worth knowing in order to understand something about those beings like Ramakrishna who come to earth and are “realized” very young that, in fact, they are already enlightened before the incarnation. The rest is likely drama for teaching purposes.

Among those beings who are avadhuts (beings who come here from other solar systems, generally to get enlightened.)  When they do get enlightened, many come back to help humans become enlightened. Those who were confirmed as enlightened avadhuts who were satgurus by Satguru Rama Mata, when Namadeva Acharya asked her about specific people: Ramakrishna and Sharada, Sivananda Saraswati of Divine Life, Saint Jneshwara (a Panduranga saint, whose temple containing his body which still projects divine energy in Pune,) and Yogananda’s guru, Sri Yukteshwar, who Namadeva said went on to become the Christ for another planet in a different solar system.

Born about 2500 years ago, Adi Shankaracharya was an amsha avatar (partial manifestation of Vishnu.)  He had enough divine shakti to hange India back from a Buddhist country to a more scholarly Hindu country.  He became a sanyasi (renunciate) at age 8 and left the body at age 30, having achieved his goal.  He was a Shaivite with an emphasis on Divine Mother.

The title of Sadguru/Satguru means True Guru: already enlightened beings who come to Earth to teach us.  A Satguru is a guru to gurus who are not yet enlightened. Thus we are truly blessed to have Satguru Sant Keshavadas and Satguru Rama Mata as the founders of our lineage.  I urge all who have not yet met Satguru Rama Mata to travel to meet her as soon as possible.  She was 79 this year, and we do not know how much longer she will be traveling to give programs.

There is definitely a lot going on in Bhu Loka (our planet and other dimensions) that boggles the Western mind.  But there is much to learn from the Vedas and Upanishads.

Prem,

Satyabhama

Tune to God’s Frequency by Swami Satchitananda

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Sadguru Sant Keshavadas and Satguru Rama Mata were and are great friends of other leading gurus in India.  Namadeva Acharya used to tell a great story about being blessed by Swami Satchitananda, when the swami visited Sant Keshavadas’ ashram.  You will find the story in his book, True Stories of Personal Power, available on sanskritmantra.com as an eBook.

“The best way to clean your system is to use sound. Simply choose any holy name you like, and keep repeating it. Let your body vibrate with that frequency. In the beginning you have to concentrate on that vibration within you. But as you continue, every cell in your body will begin to repeat your mantram or your prayer; then the whole system, the whole personality, body, mind, everything will vibrate on that wavelength. The holy word is like a radio wave.

“When a mantram is given to you, you tune your personality to a particular frequency. It’s just like tuning a radio. The cosmic music that comes from God is always being transmitted; God never stops transmitting all the beautiful things. Some simply don’t tune their heart radios to the proper frequency. Instead, they tune it to the wrong frequency and get atmospheric disturbance.

“With practice, you’ll be able to tune your heart radio. You will become a good receiver. Only then is the proper communication possible. Communication brings communion. Real communion is possible only when you tune your entire personality to God’s frequency.

Om Shanthi, Shanthi, Shanthi”