GD Speaks, Life-Saving Tips

Prayer of Oneness

There are times, when even the most sincere seeker experiences ‘disconnection’. This disconnection can last hours, days or even weeks. Many seekers hence follow a daily ritual. Some follow a particular meditation style, some a breathing technique, because a daily ritual has a very simple purpose – it brings you back home.

This prayer was originally written by my brother GD to help a few friends who said they kept forgetting the core teaching; who kept getting disconnected… and needed a simple, short, crisp reminder of their true nature. So GD created this small reminder – in the form of an ‘advaita’ prayer – to help them stay connected to their essence.

Just one suggestion… please don’t rush through it.

Go slowly… and savor each line to experience the true power and energy of this unique prayer. It will reveal deeper meanings each time you connect with it.

PS: For those of you who would like a printout for daily use, we have included a pdf file which you can download. Enjoy 🙂 Prayer of Oneness PDF

 

GD Daily Advaita Prayer

***

Poems

This Is Who You Are

AlicePopkorn

Even hurry

is within

the crucible of stillness

*

Even panic

echoes

in perfect silence

*

Sadness is hugged

from every side

by joy so tight.

*

Not an achievement

nor a reward is this:

this is who you are – even

before you read these words.

*

See that loneliness can’t help

but be one

with everything

*

And immorality bathes

in the same

divine light…

*

While this quiet smile

of consciousness watches

your pretense of foolishness.

*

And you can’t shake this off,

no god can steal it:

this is who you are

even before you read these words

*

This is who watches afterwards

as you try to understand –

and what you sink into

when you finally give up…

*

Pic via Alice Popkorn

Journal

Clear & Transparent

forest stream

Anyone who has done meditation, knows and cherishes this space of clarity and transparency. This little artwork of a poem by my favorite Zen master Ryokan is a wish for you all to experience the same silence and emptiness this weekend…

Poems

Anicca (…And This Is How It Goes)

Flick lanier67

And this is how it goes:
The landscape of your childhood
goes first; then those who shared it.
Your own memories turn transparent
And one day, you go too.

A gravestone – a name, two dates –
marks your passage till rain and sun smooth it
into bald-faced anonymity.
The gravestone becomes a rock again,
the body becomes earth again,
the grasses sway in the breeze.

And this is the lie that never lets you see this:
this picture you are seeing just now –
of this field with swaying grasses.
As if the mind can show you
what will remain after you are gone.

Poems

How Kind The Universe

universe

*

How kind the Universe
To allow this belief
That ‘I’ am doing this Awareness –
And to even provide the Light to see this!

How kind the Universe
To never point out to me
This ‘Hereness’ so solid could never
come from my flickering mind.

How kind the Universe
To never remind me that its
Reality is brand new every moment –
My eyes daily miss millions of treasures.

How kind the Universe to a fool like me
That if I walk the path diligently
It guides me lovingly to reach Here –
And if I never move an inch
I am already Here.

How could such kindness
Not make me bow down at Its Grace.
How could such kindness
Not make me cry at Its Feet.

How kind the Universe
To allow me to see this.
How kind the Universe
To allow me to be this.

*

Journal, Poems

The Magical Zen Death Poems

Zen Death Poems

Recently, in my new favorite book ‘A Tale For The Time Being’ by novelist and Zen priest Ruth Ozeki, I came across a little-known and very beautiful Zen custom.

Traditionally, a Japanese, Chinese and Korean Zen Master would write a final poem or haiku when he was about to die. In the death poem or jisei, the essential idea was that at one’s final moment of life, one’s reflection on death could be especially lucid and therefore an important observation about life. The poem was considered a final parting gift to disciples.

Curious, I tracked down some of these poems for myself and thought they were worth sharing:

Breathing in, breathing out,
Moving forward, moving back,
Living, dying, coming, going —
Like two arrows meeting in flight,
In the midst of nothingness
Is the road that goes directly
to my true home.

– Gesshu Soko

*

Like dew drops
on a lotus leaf
I vanish.

– Shinsui

*

Since time began
the dead alone know peace.
Life is but melting snow.

– Nandai

*

I pondered Buddha’s teaching
a full four and eighty years.
The gates are all now
locked about me.
No one was ever here –
Who then is he about to die,
and why lament for nothing?

Farewell!

The night is clear,
the moon shines calmly,
the wind in the pines
is like a lyre’s song.
With no ‘I’ and no other

who hears the sound?

 – Zoso Royo

*

Empty handed I entered the world.
Barefoot I leave it.
My coming, my going-
Two simple happenings
That got entangled.

– Kozan

Zen legend has it that a few days before his death, Kozan called his pupils together, ordered them to bury him without ceremony when he died. One morning, after writing this poem, he lay down his brush and died while sitting upright.

As I get older, death feels more relevant. The magical thinking of youth fades – it becomes clearer that death is not an ‘if’ but a ‘when’. And I wonder what would it take to pass over with such clarity and grace… and a tiny grain of true wisdom worth passing on?

*

Poems

Butterfly: A Poem About Meditation

Butterfly

*
This body, the graveyard
of unsung emotions.
So many faces buried,
So many times, so many places.

Watching, watching – these
phantom spirits depart, until
only a sunlit butterfly floats
above swaying grasses.

*

 

Journal, Parenting, Poems

The Best Spiritual Advice You Got In Kindergarten

rowboatYesterday, as I was listening to my mentor GD share his increasingly clear experience of the entire field of consciousness as a dream, I remembered an old nursery rhyme. Repeating the lines one by one, I was stunned that there was such precise spiritual guidance encoded in four lines:

Row, row, row your boat
Gently down the stream
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily
Life is but a dream

We are conditioned to believe in hard work, control and struggle as the way to go up (stream) in life. The first two sentences offer a kinder suggestion of gently guiding your boat downstream to the goodness and perfection that Life already has in store for you. In two simple lines, the verse captures the essence of what we now know as ‘the law of attraction’.

As long as one believes one is the ‘doer’ of life, the best advice is to row gently and go down the stream. The harder you push, the more reality you give to the false ‘doer’. So take it easy: for life is not a static lake but a stream that has its own natural, divine flow.

In the third line, there is a child-like joy of repetition, which gives the feeling-sense of how life may be lived: merrily. And in case you didn’t get it the first time, we’ll say it four times for you! That’s how much fun this thing called Life is!!!

The most beautiful part of the rhyme for me is the last line. The subtle connection that merriment in life arises not from where your boat takes you, but from the final understanding: ‘life is but a dream’. Go merrily, it advises, for life is but a dream. Again, notice that it doesn’t say that life is like a dream – it says life is a dream.

Reading it again, I noticed how the verse progressively moves from personal to impersonal. The first line has a sense of a ‘you’ rowing a boat. The second describes a scenario of a boat going gently down the stream. The third does not say: ‘you should be merry’. It is simply expressing the pure joy of it – merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily. And the fourth, with one joyous lift-off, transcends the whole of life. In four little lines, the song traverses the whole journey from apparent duality to non-duality, between where we (think we) are and the final understanding.

Now that I am a father (in the dream!) teaching nursery rhymes to my little son, this is the one I would encourage him to hold on to for the rest of his life. Maybe someday, on a demanding day at work, he will hum it by chance and rediscover the same spiritual advice encoded in these four simple lines:

Row, row, row your boat
Gently down the stream
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily
Life is but a dream…

Poems

be light

Floating Enlightenment

 

all around existence reminds us to be light:

the stars are filled with helium.

the earth floats in space.

angels have wings.

and science says matter

is resounding emptiness.

even the wise ones advise:

‘let go the weight of false stories,

for your true nature is en-lightenment.’

*

 

Poems

The Art Of Disappearing

heaven

I came upon this poem by chance and fell in love with it. Meditators know this issue painfully intimately — as do introverts like me: the pulling of attention and desire outward even when one finds joy being with oneself. And I love how poetess Naomi Shihab Nye offers advice with humor and insight, ending with a reminder to cherish for a lifetime. 

When they say don’t I know you?
say no.

When they invite you to the party
remember what parties are like
before answering.
Someone telling you in a loud voice

they once wrote a poem.
Greasy sausage balls on a paper plate.
Then reply.

If they say we should get together.
say why?

It’s not that you don’t love them any more.
You’re trying to remember something
too important to forget.
Trees. The monastery bell at twilight.
Tell them you have a new project.
It will never be finished.

When someone recognizes you in a grocery store
nod briefly and become a cabbage.
When someone you haven’t seen in ten years
appears at the door,
don’t start singing him all your new songs.
You will never catch up.

Walk around feeling like a leaf.
Know you could tumble any second.
Then decide what to do with your time.

Naomi Shihab Nye