Spiritual Schools

” Whoever always meditates on Him, whether from desire, anger, fear, affection, friendship, or reverence, surely becomes one with Him.”-Shrimad Bhagavat. ” He worships Me with his whole being.”-Gita. The tradition in all great mystical schools is that to have Enlightenment it is necessary to study under a teacher. The teacher is one who knows the Scriptures, who has woken up from the illusion of the passing world, and who has realized in his own experience the identity of the individual soul with the all-pervading Spirit. The teacher does not speak as an individual ; his voice is the voice of Reality, though heard from the mouth of a man. To grasp this point, take the case of a dream.  It is a fact, established by Freud among others, that a dream tries to protect its existence against the incursions of reality. If a bell rings in the sleeper’s room, the dream at once incorporates this incompatible element into itself, and builds with lightning rapidity a scene into which the sound ofa bell fits naturally. Similarly, if someone says : ” Wake up ! You are dreaming ! ” the words are transferred to one of the characters of the …

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“Our teacher,” said a disciple to a friend of his, “won’t let us take notes when he gives his sermons. Still, he always speaks on one of the classical texts, so as soon as possible afterwards, a group of us meet together and recover as much as we can from memory. With the basic text to consult, we can between us recall nearly everything that he’s said, and then we can get it down. ” “But why won’t he allow notes while he’s speaking?” asked the friend. “‘Yes, we’d always wondered that”, went on the disciple. “He just says at the beginning of every year that he doesn’t want us to take notes. None of us felt we had the right to ask him; I mean, a teacher’s decision mustn’t be questioned, must it? But we thought we’d like to know. “Well, one day, when we knew that some outsiders would be coming, we got a notebook and pencil ready. When we saw one keen-looking fellow going in, we just gave them to him. We didn’t say anything (the teacher wouldn’t have liked that), but we assumed that he’d probably make a note or two. “And so he did. Soon …

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Lions and Tigers

LIONS AND TIGERS “All living beings have been Buddhas from the very beginning. It is like ice and water : apart from water no ice can exist.” Hakuin’s Meditation Song. The most troublesome problem for human nature in any age is the question of reputation and profit. Its solution means the difference between ignorance and enlightenment, between sinking and swimming. There are only two paths : to make use of reputation and profit as their master, or to be driven by them as their slave. Generally people take the second. On this point there is an amusing story. A great tiger, the pride of a certain Zoo, died. The proprietor was greatly worried about the effect on the Zoo’s popularity, and finally evolved a plan to have the dead tiger stuffed and hire someone to get inside it and imitate a living tiger. It was difficult to find a man, but in the end by including in the salary a daily ration of two gallons of rice-wine, he got a drunken good-for-nothing to take on the job. Every day this man got into the skin of the stuffed tiger and postured in the cage before the audience, occasion ally having …

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