Aja Blog



(Now All In One Convenient Place)

Welcome to Aja's online blog - an ongoing expression of what is arising in Aja's consciousness... random writings, musings, and more on the nature of consciousness, awakening, reality, non-reality, stupidity....

Each entry is chronologically dated with the most recent first and older stuff later.  Feel free to start wherever you want.  If you have questions or comments, you can email them to atma@atmainstitute.org


Saturday  December 31, 2005

Farewell to Arms - Hello to Heart

It is the last day of the year 2005 c.e., and in a few hours we will be entering into a new year. It's often bewildered me that we make such a scene at something as trivial and arbitrary as the flipping of a calendar page, particularly when it really is almost like a random number. I mean, yes, it is the most accepted calendar system around the globe I suppose, but I'm sure there must be at least a half a dozen others regularly in use, all with the new year being at different times (the Vedic calendar year beginning in the March/April area for instance).

Still, here I am, at this arbitrary last day of the year, recognizing that the whole concept of time, what to speak of calendars is an illusion, and still affected by the energy of it. What does that mean? It means that the duality is part of the Oneness. The Divine Dance goes on, and we all are meant and destined to be the Eyes, Ears, Mind of Infinite.

Similarly, although time is simply conceptual, there is yet a framework within which it falls, and we, the Dancers of the One are a part of that great Mystery. In that framework, time exists, 'others' exist, future exists - all tied together. So as long as we will play this game, let us play it with heart, both figuratively and literally. Let us move away from the more divisive nature of the mind, which sees, feels and touches mostly in the field of duality, and move into the heart, the doorway to the Absolute. Let us move our consciousness both into the region of the physical heart, and rest in the Heart of Pure Awareness. Bring the mind into the heart. Breathe into and out of the heart. See from the heart. Recognize how the heart is the center of that Absolute and Infinite field of Grace. It takes but a moment to shift the Awareness into the heart, a bit more to stay there for any length of time, but the rewards are profound and perpetual, not only for 'You,' but for the All. Do this as often and for as long as it happens to come to 'mind' and you will soon find that your whole perspective begins to change.

And on that note, may you all have a very Happy New Year.

Heart Blessings,



Tuesday  December 20, 2005

Murderer or Midwife?

Ahhh! The beautiful world of duality. Good and Bad. Life and Death. Happiness and Sorrow. Pleasure and Pain. And our endless attempts to grasp the one and avoid the other. But it can't be done, can it? No matter how hard you try, both will always be there as long as there is an individual to perceive them and analyze them. "I like these things and I don't like those things."  This is a totally natural part of the Dance.

It's similar when it comes to awakening. Our postmodern view of the universe seeks to make everything equal and the same. But, there is a big difference between equal and the same. We are all equal. We are not all the same. Good and Bad are equal. They are not the same. Male and Female are equal. They are not the same. Higher and lower are equal. They are not the same. The post modern view (otherwise known by some as the 'mean green meme' or as boomeritis by Ken Wilber) would have us believe that my views and your views are virtually interchangeable, that there is NO hierarchy of values. I accept your views and you accept mine. Yes, they may be different, but they are of equal value. Thus, you can't tell me or teach me anything, because my views are already just as good as yours! AND we're all already enlightened anyway, so what recognition could you possibly have that I don't? AND I will not look at the teachings of anybody or anything that tells me differently. 

Can we see the dilemma here? If, as many want to hold onto, we are all equal and the same, and that no one's understanding is greater than anyone else's how is it possible for anyone to grow? It virtually necessitates stagnation. By this same understanding, I should go to a shoe salesman next time I need a brain surgery. You might as well put your holiday mail in the box that says "Litter" instead of "Letter."

We live in an age of EXTREME narcissism. We love our 'selves' with infinite passion, even to the point of seeking Enlightenment for our 'selves,' that "I" may experience the highest, perfect, all-good, bliss. But I want to do it 'my' way. "Yes, I know that awakening means surrendering my ego, but I can surrender my ego just fine, thank you! And I want a teacher who nurtures me, who loves me, who acknowledges my specialness, and sees me as a friend and an equal! Not some one who will point out my flaws, or even suggest that there might be a more effective way of doing and seeing things!"  But this is not the way of a true teacher. This is the way of the sweet and puffy new age teacher who sways you with their 'infinite love' and lulls you into the deep sleep of IGNORANCE!!!

Mohammad Ali perhaps said it as well as anyone: "Dance like a butterfly, sting like a bee." My teacher used to say: "Hard like a thunderbolt, soft like a rose." In other words, yes, the guru, the teacher, the mentor can be soft and loving, ever so human in every way, and even at times saintly. But they can also be the wrath of God, the avenging angel, the slayer of ignorance. I think of it as being "Two (click)...Two (click)...Two MENTors in One." The teacher is human and divine. (Yes, of course, we all are, but do you have that recognition?) The teacher is a midwife, there to love and nurture a new birth. But they are also a murderer, whose primary purpose is to destroy the ignorance, including the attachments to the way you think it should be AND the way you think it should be done. As one Buddhist teacher said, "I am the assassin you hire to kill you!" But you don't want to be killed. You only want the sweet, the light, the loving, the beautiful, the saintly. You don't want the hard, the discipline, the effort, the pushing the envelope. You want to hold onto your 'equally valuable' concepts that make you feel safe and comfortable and secure. In other words, you want only one side of the story, one side of the teacher, one side of the teaching, one half of the Truth. That's fine, but if that's your choice, do it somewhere else and quit wasting my friggin time!

(PS - If you happen to consider yourself a student of mine, and you think I'm writing with you in mind, chances are I'm not!!! However, if you perceive it that way, then perhaps you might consider the ramifications of that.  Hmmmmm?  Love & Light ... Slash & Burn)


Wednesday  December 14, 2005

I, Other, All

I've often said that the basic problem inherent in seeking Self Realization is that it virtually always starts from a strong ego desire, which is, of course, what it seems you are fighting in the first place to recognize the true Self. So, the ego says, "Let's go for enlightenment, the ultimate cool," but it (the ego that says this) is the thing that is getting in the way. 

This is part of the reason that bhakti, or devotion, can be so valuable. From the very beginning it's geared toward service. Ahh, service - a concept which is all too unfamiliar to us in the west. None of us wants to serve. We all want to be the master, the leader, the jnani or enlightened one. But in traditional advaita or non-duality, there is a recognition that humility, service, motiveless action or karma yoga is a necessary part of the path. Why? Because it begins the loosening of the bonds of the ego. It says serve first. Serve others. Serve God. Serve ANYONE or ANYTHING besides your own ego.

As Wei Wu Wei said:

"Why are you unhappy? Because 99 percent of everything you think, of everything you do is for yourself and there simply is not one, that you think is there."

And yet that sense of being a somebody is the predominant sense that anyone has. Like Einstein said, "The universe is an illusion, albeit, a very persistent one." So, I'm convinced that I'm here, and all my actions are geared around getting what I want, including getting rid of my I. What a quandary! How is this to be answered. The 'I' that wants it is the 'I' that must die to get it. The answer: Serve. Take a first step. Even though Advaita or non-duality says there is no individual 'I' or individual 'others,' since you're going to act as if there is an 'I', then why not act as if there are others. Find a way to serve others. Find a way to serve the whole, the all. Ninety percent of the population experiences incredible lack of self esteem. Don't be confused here - they seriously believe that they exist, they just don't like the self that is existing. Recognize, as Wei Wu Wei says, that everything you do is for your self (a non-existent one). What if you began trying to do 99% of everything you think and everything you do for others (even though they may also be non-existent? What if you began to mold your thoughts and your life in such a way that virtually everything you did was to try to be in service of others, or of God, or of the community? You get the picture.

One of the problems that has come from our present situation is that the teacher/student relationship has gone kapoot - largely for good reasons.  However,  the sense of service that was fostered in the teacher/student relation was extremely powerful and beneficial. Now, in our postmodern age, where everyone is 'equal,' now everyone is just as smart, just as enlightened, and just as important as their teacher, so why should they serve them? Because they themselves are God, why should they serve a separate God. (That's often their sense, anyway.)

In the Uddhava Gita, it says that one should see EVERYTHING as God, and bow down to it in body, mind, and spirit, until they realize the Truth of it. Before assuming everyone else should treat you as God, how about seeing everyone else as God and serving them, serving their evolution. Don't meditate so you can become enlightened, meditate so that the world becomes enlightened. Look at how many of your daily acts and thoughts are based around 'getting', and see how they could be changed to 'giving.' Give of yourselves freely and fully. Soon, you will find yourself feeling totally fulfilled and at peace.


Saturday  December 10, 2005

Truth, Illusion & Delusion

Ragtime... In other words, time to vent. So this is your caveat, your warning - you may not find this exactly in the realm of "Truth," but perhaps worthy of considering. It might be considered more in the "relative sphere," of what's going on in the world and how we fall into the trap of delusion.

First off, the other day I went into my local video store where they asked me if I want to support the troops (with a donation). I don't. They don't need money, they need to come home. I get tired of seeing constantly the "Support Our Troops" bumper stickers on cars. But even worse for me is hearing supposedly left-leaning thinkers, on the radio and elsewhere, thanking people for supporting our troops in Iraq and elsewhere, which is, to my mind, subtly supporting the government and the thinking which sent those troops to kill other human beings.

This body/personality, which is a child of the '60s' is fully in line with the following thoughts of Albert Einstein:

"He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would fully suffice. This disgrace to civilization should be done away with at once. Heroism at command, senseless brutality, and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism, how violently I hate all this, how despicable and ignoble war is; I would rather be torn to shreds than be part of so base an action! It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder."

A big part of the nature of Truth is to see things exactly as they are, free from both illusions and delusions. Let me explain. A magician performs a trick where he puts a woman in a box and appears to cut it in half, including the occupant. The truth is that there is a trick to it and no one is cut in half. The illusion is that he does cut the woman in half. The delusion is that we allow ourselves to believe it. In other words, the illusion is natural, the delusion is not. Similarly, heat on the road creates an appearance of water on that road. That is the truth and the illusion. The delusion would be that we continue to believe there is water there.

So how does this affect us? Well, where do you delude yourself? Let's take eating meat as an example. I don't really care if you eat meat or not. It may or may not make any kind of difference in your 'spiritual' life. However, if I point out to you that killing and eating an animal is, to me, no different than killing and eating a small human child, chances are you will take offense. Why? Because you equate being human as being superior to being some other species, and therefore it's okay to kill one kind of animal but not another (a human). You might even find it reprehensible that some people eat dogs, our loyal and trusted companions. The truth is, when you eat meat, some life was ended in order for you to eat it. It's just flesh. Who cares if it was a dog, a cow, or a little boy or girl. Does it make a difference that nine billion animals a year are killed in the United States alone for food? And how about those who are in favor of abortion,  but against eating meat? Or against killing whales.  "Save the whales but kill the unborn infants." That would make a good bumper sticker. Or, "Save the whales, kill 9,000,000,000 animals a year and eat them."  Or, I saw a bumper sticker that said something like, "Save the animals, Eat a vegetarian instead."

Or, how many of you are vehemently against smokers and smoking, yet drive some big-ass SUV around? Everyone acts as if this little item burning plant material is the major cause of death and global warning. Think about it - would you rather be in a closed space with a smoker or an automobile with its engine running. One will kill you in 30 minutes, the other in maybe 30 years. We delude ourselves based on our beliefs and the prevalent memes of the day.

The point here is not that I, Aja, am for or against any of these things. The personality of Aja has its preferences and idiosyncrasies as does yours. The point is can you see which ones are true, which are illusions and which delusions? Don't delude yourself that eating one kind of flesh is better or worse than any other or that one religion is better or worse than any other. There have been people of every faith, and no faith, that have woken up to truth, been willing to see past the illusions and their own delusions to find what is real. But what it does take is discrimination - a complete willingness to see the kinds of crap you believe. Look at your habitual patterns of thinking. Explore how many things that you accept as truth are an illusion, and your willingness to hang on to them (which then becomes a delusion). Is there a past? A future? An "I"?  Is there such a thing as enlightenment? What beliefs do you hold to as sacred that you don't KNOW to be true? Look into it. Explore it.


Tuesday  December 5, 2005

Wanting Thing to be Different

Overall, probably the most common denominator among people is the desire for things to be different than they are. Everyone wants their life to be better, more, happier, freer, or in any number of ways, different than what it is at the present.  They want to be wealthier, more beautiful, more sexy, more spiritual or enlightened even. However, for those who are interested in Truth, they may find that they judge themselves strongly when they recognize within themselves this desire for things to be different. "How can I be surrendered to the 'Now' if I find myself wanting things to be different? If I'm wanting things to change, or wanting things to be different, I'm not accepting things as they are, and that's bad! I need to accept things as they are, which means not wanting things to be different."

Okay, here's the twist, and it's a bit of a mind boggler, so try and stay with me here. Wanting things to be different is natural. Not liking that you want things to be different is wanting things to be different. Therefore, the only way to not want things to be different is to accept that you want things to be different! I know, that takes a bit of thinking which very few people are able to actually do. So, in case you didn't get it the first time, I'll try again. People want things to be different....that's natural.  If you see this in yourself and don't like it, you also want things to be different. In other words, what you want to be different is that you should be able to accept things as they are (and not want anything to be different than it is). However, this very not wanting things to be different is, in fact, wanting things to be different. So the solution is to accept that you want things to be different, which, on a higher level, so to speak, is to accept things as they are, to accept that you want things different.

Perhaps one more way of looking at it might be that it is totally normal to want things to be different. You want to eat  because you want the hunger to go away. You want to pee because you want the pressure to go away. However, if you want to not need to eat or pee, you're really weird. If you think it's more spiritual to not want things to be different, that's unnatural. Even the desire to be more spiritual or more evolved is probably a very natural desire. Whether you can actually do anything about it is another story. However, it is also natural that you will probably try, often being frustrated in the attempt. And you'll want that to be different as well. All of this will continue to go on, and you don't need to change it. You see, it's really about surrendering at a higher level, a recognition that the human nature will always be the human nature, and any attempt to change things, in any way at all is resistance to what is.

Okay, I'll leave it there for now. Have fun with it, as confusing as it all might be. That's natural too.

Love & Kisses!