Tuesday, April 29, 2014

a stillness

In fact I will say still more, which sounds even stranger: I declare in all truth, by the eternal and everlasting truth, that this light is not content with the simple changeless divine being which neither  gives nor takes: rather it seeks to know whence this being comes, it wants to get into its simple ground, into the silent desert into which no distinction ever peeped, of Father, Son or Holy Ghost. In the inmost part, where none is at home, there that light finds satisfaction, and there it is more one than it is in itself: for this ground is an impartible stillness, motionless in itself, and by this immobility all things are moved, and all those receive life that live of themselves, being endowed with reason.

 — Meister Eckhart, the complete mystical works, pages 310 – 311

 I sometimes "teach" beginning yoga teacher classes meditation; although, as I always explain to them, no one teaches — all anyone can do is guide you to discover your own work. 

Last week, the senior teacher leading the certification class announced that I would be "giving" the meditation the following Monday, and I corrected her by saying, "no — there will be a meditation session for all of us on Monday, and I'll be there."

 Anyway, we did get together; and at the end of the sitting, just before we stopped, I mentioned that I discover my Being in the stillness of my body.

 This stillness is indeed in the inmost part, which is what inner yoga is all about. And that inner stillness is what the yogis mean when they say that the ultimate aim of yoga is not to keep the chakras spinning, but stop them. For there is a place, which Meister Eckhart mentions here, in which all things are still and perfect: and everything emerges from this stillness and this perfection.

Sometimes, people refer to this as the silence — and indeed, we see that Meister Eckhart refers to the "silent desert." Yet he also says this "simple ground" — and I do like this more. It is a simplicity that we seek; and it is not bereft of things.  When we hear the word silent, perhaps we can hear the word presence, since presence needs no words, yet manifests completely; and when we hear the word desert, perhaps we can hear the word expanse, for the emptiness of the desert provides an endless space with no obstacles into which everything can expand. If it is a void, it is and not a void that terrifies, but one that invites. In avidity, we flee from emptiness out of fear; but in repose, we enter it with confidence. And this is the difference between all of the noise in us, and the stillness from which being emerges.

Perhaps it sounds too limiting to say that we discover our being through the stillness of our body; yet our body is the vehicle for sensation and experience, and we cannot encounter the stillness unless we encounter it within this vehicle. 

It's pointless, I think, to get into complicated arguments about what is material and what is spiritual, what transcends and what is transcended; one simply enters the repose, the stillness, of Being. This spiritual food can be accepted without an argument, and without force; it does not need logic to explain it. 

It brings what is needed for inner development as easily as bees bring pollen back to the hive; cooperatively, and with assurance.



  1. Lee, here are the first sutras of the yoga sutras of Patanjali translated by this author:

    1. NOW, the explication of Yoga
    1:2: Yoga is the cessation or restriction of whirlpools, currents and eddies in the consciousness.
    1:3: Then the Self radiates outwards in its Supreme and August Majesty
    1:4: At all other times,consciousness misidentifies with the whirlpools (lit:Vrttis), currents and eddies which disturb the consciousness.

    I think this is sufficient to explain what the primary goal of Yoga (which is both a noun and verb) consists of. But the centers/chakras/wheels can only be brought to a complete stop by a full-blown kundalini awakening, Which is an extraordinarily rare experience where the kundalini, imaged as a snake curled in sleep around the base of the spine with her snout blocking the thin Nadi called the Chitrini, the innermost third of the main Nadi known as the Sushumna,which is a vertical hollow in three layers, the smallest of which I have spoken of as the Chitrini. When the kundalini has, as the Scriptures put it, been struck/shocked by being hit with a stick (Hatha in English = Violent, Against the Will); having been awoken abruptly She as Shakti (all "stuff"- energy and matter); she as shakti abruptly straightens herself out and travels up the innermost third (chitrini) of the Sushumna, piercing the three Granthis (Knots of Identification first with the body, second with the emotions and thirdly with the ego self); and as she roars upwards towards the embrace of her lover, Shiva, who has the properties of endless empty space containing nothing but abiding awareness, as she rises past each center/chakra/wheel she shuts the entire system off so that the breath ceases, the heart fibrillates slowly and quietly and the entire body loses all of its living heat except for a small circle of warmth at the top of the head. There, above the head, Shiva and his Shakti embrace in the return to unity from multiplicity. This is not theory. I am writing this from personal experience of those exact phenomena.

    Barring such an experience, and prior to it, the centers each must be brought into a harmonic relationship. They still spin, but each with its proper gradient and quality of fuel are brought to a harmony such as when the hubcap of a vehicle traveling at a certain speed seems to stand still. The opening to a much higher consciousness than is experienced in common every day waking consciousness depends upon all of the centers/wheels/chakras to appear while yet spinning to stand still as in the harmonic overtones of a single musical note.

  2. Thanks Richard! It would inevitably be interesting to see some discussion of this on a blog partly concerned with G's tradition! I believe Lee has discussed this a little....We know G apparently disliked the term kundalini but Osho, for one, thinks he was misunderstood. I paste a link. I am 'the friend' who asks the question to which he replies. He did this in a morning talk in poona 79. It would be interesting to see Lee's considered judgement :)

  3. http://www.satrakshita.be/the_power_of_kundalini.htm

  4. silence is golden...it doesn't ultimately matter what anyone thinks!

  5. I value much of what Osho had to say on Gurdjieff; if anyone is interested, I made a document a while ago of all the significant mentions Osho made of G in his talks.

  6. i'd be interested...I know one can search the osho library


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.