Question: What are the signs of realization?
Answer: In Sanskrit a person who is ‘realized’ is called a jnani (someone who knows), or better yet, someone who has recognized that the truth of the individual self, and the truth of the entire world of name and form is one ‘thing’ alone.
One thing that is not a thing, not an object of cognition, yet intimately known as ‘I’—changeless, ever present, limitless, unaffected by the changing circumstances of duality, and at the same time, the underlying reality of all changing things. Continue reading
Vedanta uses the word ‘Ishvara.’ When teaching, my teacher, who is western, never uses the word ‘God.’
Why? Well, the word ‘God’ can be very loaded, and often for us born in the west, negatively so.
So what is Ishvara? When I first met my teacher, I noticed she used the word ‘Ishvara’ a lot, and I never really know what she meant by it.
The first time I met Swami Dayananda and heard him teach, he said, “If you want to see Ishvara in action, look around you.” Continue reading
The teachings of advaita/vedAnta list several qualifications necessary for a student of self-knowledge to have. The first two are known as viveka and vairAgya. viveka is often translated as discrimination, which definition is further expanded to mean the ability to discriminate between the real and the unreal.
The real is defined as that which never changes. It is also known as Atma, brahman, the self, or absolute reality. The unreal is everything else. The hallmark of the ‘unreal’ is change.
vairAgya is often translated as dispassion. But as my vedAnta teacher has often pointed out, this isn’t really a very good translation of the word because it can conjure up images of a person with no apparent emotions who holds the world at bay. Continue reading
There is one desire which is considered to be benign, and that is the desire for moksha. A person who desires moksha wants something to change. He or she does not know what moksha is but that person has recognized ‘the problem.’ Continue reading
When I was a little girl, in summer camp, there was a game we play called, “The Wonder Ball.” I really enjoyed this game.
We would stand in a circle, and pass a large ball to the next person while singing this song:
“The wonder ball, goes round and round,
to pass it quickly you are bound.
If you’re the one to hold it last,
the game for you is Shirley Past.
You Are Out!” Continue reading
Sometimes I am a bird,
one of a flock,
building a nest, searching for food,
eating, drinking, mating and
caring for my young,
the experiencer of joy and sorrow. Continue reading
Question: Can you learn to be presence, or show someone how, or do you just have to wait for presence to arise?
Answer: ‘Presence’ is. It neither arises nor diminishes.
There is nothing one can do to ‘be’ presence, because one already is presence, but rather there are things which can be done in order to bring about the recognition of the presence one already is. Continue reading
You don’t need to be perfect
for you are perfect in God’s eyes
which become your eyes
when you see clearly
You don’t need to be perfect,
For you are perfect in God’s eyes,
Which become your eyes
When you see clearly.
I flirted with Fame. After a couple of dates
we called it off.
I courted Wealth. She told me,
”Better luck next time.”
Progeny left before we even got started.
Finally I found my true love, Satchitananda.
And we can never be parted.