the silence wipes the other out

The conditioning of the past breaks down

in the fullness of silence.

My Comment: This portion of “The Urgency of Change” by Krishnamurti leads us to the point where the churning of the mind subsides. He points to the dynamic of the mind imagining itself separate from its own movement as judgement, evaluation, liking, disliking etc. and how this movement of separating oneself from ‘what is’ perpetuates the past.

We can see how he is describing with other terms what in yoga is called ‘the modifications of the mind’ or in zen the ‘mind formations’. The Sanskrit term used is VRTTI. The endpoint of yoga is citta-vrtti-nirodha, which is when these mind modifications come to rest on their own because they implode due to their realization they lack any substance whatsoever. That is a longer topic of its own, but this excerpt below gives us some valuable pointers on how this dynamic plays out. Enjoy! Continue reading

yoga sutras – sixth exploration: steady state of mind

“(The mind in the yogic state of Samapatti) is like a pure crystal which reflects the colors of an object brought into its proximity, but which neither receives not retains any stain on its body such as can be seen when the object is moved away from it. And even while reflecting the colors of an adjacent object, it absorbs no stain and remains wholly uninvolved in the colors it reflects.” Continue reading

Connection To Silence

I met my teacher in 1979. I was living in Germany at the time and was taking a yoga class at the local Red Cross Family Center. The instructor, Roswitha, was a student of a man from India, Sri S. Rajagopalan. She invited Rajo, as he was called, to our town for a weekend seminar. I signed up for the weekend and arrived early Saturday morning to meet Rajo in the dressing room, preparing for the seminar. The moment I saw him I felt he was my brother, because he was so familiar. In short, I fell in love with yoga as Rajo presented it to us and became close friends with him. I worked with him for over 20 years and eventually taught his style of yoga for many years in Germany, as well as in other parts of the world. When asked by my students what kind of yoga I teach, I tell them that I teach  a form of yoga that allows me to access an experience of silence as the underlying substratum of existence. Continue reading

Attuning the Body-Mind


Attuning the Body-Mind Instrument

I experience a deep satisfaction in being present with the forms that surround me. This morning there was a kind of story-line in my mind from the last dream sequence before I awoke that is a kind of mental space. In that state it is a welcome relief to bring my focus of attention to my body, which is the form that my awareness is closest to. My body is an instrument for experience, and thus, my experience can be fuzzy and disjointed or focused and coherent. Continue reading

Sukhasana, the Asana of Happiness – Ramana


Ramana Marahshi on asanas:

Questioner: But hatha yoga is so much spoken of as an aid.

Ramana’s Answer: Yes. Even great pandits well versed in the vedanta continue the practice of it. Otherwise their minds will not subside. So you may say it is useful for those who cannot otherwise still the mind.
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Posture and Asana in Zen and Yoga

At the bottom of this article you will find the Posture chapter of Shunryu Suzuki’s book Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind and also the YouTube with Peter Coyote reading this chapter.

This short chapter is remarkable in several respects. Superficially it seems that he is describing the recommended zazen posture for the body. Looking more deeply at several statements in this talk, however, I realize that he is presenting us with non-linear Zen thoughts. Many statements impact me as wake up calls, directing me to leave my conventional thought patterns. This short talk is very rich and deep in its potential to show me the multiple levels that his communication contains. Here are some of my reflections on his statements from this point of view.
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Zen: The Mind Ground

The Mind Ground pin

This short paragraph that is attributed to zen master Lin Chi intrigued me on the first reading about five days ago. I put some of his teachings that I downloaded from some websites onto my reader and have been enjoying them with my morning coffee or tea sitting in the driftwood here.  Let me mention here that the yogi from Chennai (then Madras) who introduced me into Yoga (Sri S. Rajagopalan) and with whom I studied for over 20 years, had one main thrust of his combined teaching (asanas/pranayama/philosophy) and that was to give us an experience over and over again of Silence. Everything else was orchestrated, I might say, to achieving this purpose, although each element had its own benefits as well.

I recognize in Lin Chi’s words above that he is pointing us to that same Silence.

Taking the first part: “The mind ground can go into the ordinary, into the holy, into the pure, into the defiled, into the real, into the conventional;…” and substituting Silence, it becomes something like this: “The ground of the ordinary is Silence, the ground of the holy is Silence, the ground of the pure is Silence, the ground of the defiled is Silence, the ground of the real is Silence, the ground of the conventional is Silence;…”.

From this point of view one could say that all these various levels of our existence, of our experience, are actually contours of Silence and Silence can be seen as the stuff of which all manifestation and all form is made. It is of course obvious from the above that the word Silence is not used in the sense of “no sound”. Rather sounds, noises, movements of objects all happen within this quality of Silence (that is why I use a capital “S” to signify this changed meaning).

In the second part: “…but it is not your ‘real’ or ‘conventional’, ‘ordinary’ or ‘holy.’”, I see the meaning that this basic immutable stuff of which all manifestation is made is, of course, not limited to any of these individual qualities that he lists.

The third part: “It can put labels on all the real and conventional, the ordinary and the holy,…” tells me that this mind ground is active and engaged in the world of form, interacting on all levels mentioned. Then he brings in this: “…but the real and conventional, the ordinary and the holy, cannot put labels on someone in the mind ground.” – in order to clarify once again that while engaging in the world the one whose actions are of the quality of the mind ground (free of ego etc.) actually IS Intelligent Infinity in its ever spontaneous expression. Therefore to put labels on that expression is a thing of the measuring thought, and it is per definition limited as it lives by creating limitations. Intelligent Infinity, or the finite-infinite, as my friend YB Roth calls it, cannot be contained in any concept.

The final part: “If you can get it, use it, without putting any more labels on it.” – for me means if I have been able to access this quality of the all-pervading and immutable Silence/mind ground by divesting myself of all concepts and limiting views and am in that state of being merged with TATHAGATA (That which is beyond all transitory phenomena), then for God’s sake DON”T THINK ABOUT IT, DON”T LABEL IT, just live it and go on my way free of the need to know or reflect on anything.

Ramana puts it this way: “Since the Self shines with nothing else to know or to make known, It alone is Knowledge.”

This paragraph of Lin Chi is still very active in me and what is most active are simply the two words “mind ground” – which are like a code of some sort that brings about a great sense of freedom from all chaff and dust and a falling away of all that suggests itself as being important and calling for my attention. So I am free to put my attention on my happiness, my life force, my sense of being.

– end –

Some Thoughts on Teaching Yoga

This is a message to anyone who might feel called upon to step forward as a teacher of yoga. Looking back at my various wonderful teachers over the years, whether Sri S. Rajagopalan in yoga, or Chungliang Al Huang in tai ji and also teachers from my school and college days there is one thing that stays with me till today: who they are. In other words, those who brought themselves into the learning situation with their whole perfect/imperfect living being are the ones who imparted something of value to me for my life. Others merely imparted some more or less good ideas or techniques that served to entertain me for a while during which I continued my never-ending search for the Essential Point.
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