Our current spiritual thinking have been influenced by the great schools of the East. India, China, Tibet are have all been great sources of deep spiritual wisdom. Their advent in the West have help accelerate the understanding of new realities to a wider audience.
A MESSAGE FROM HIS HOLINESS THE THE DALAI LAMA
Love, Compassion and Tolerance
... The essence of all religions is love, compassion and tolerance. Kindness is my true religion. No matter whether you are learned or not, whether you believe in the next life or not, whether you believe in god or Buddha or some other religion or not, in day-to-day life you must be a kind person. When you are motivated by kindness, it doesn’t matter whether you are a practitioner, a lawyer, a politician, an administrator, a worker, or an engineer: whatever your profession or field, deep down you are a kind person. Love, compassion and tolerance are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive. If you have a particular faith or religion, that is good. But you can survive without it if you have love, compassion, and tolerance. The clear proof of a person’s love of God is if that person genuinely shows love to fellow human beings.
To have strong consideration for others’ happiness and welfare, we must have a special altruistic attitude in which we take upon ourselves the burden of helping others. To generate such an unusual attitude, we must have great compassion—caring about the suffering of others and wanting to do something about it. To have such a strong force of compassion, we must have a strong sense of love that, upon observing sentient beings, wishes that they have happiness - finding a pleasantness in everyone and wishing happiness for everyone, just as a mother does for her sole sweet child. To have a sense of closeness and dearness for others, use as a model a person in this lifetime who was very kind to you. Then extend this sense of gratitude to all beings. Deep down we must have real affection for each other, a clear realization or recognition of our shared human status. At the same time, we must openly accept all ideologies and systems as a means of solving humanity’s problems. One country, one nation, one ideology, one system is not sufficient. It is helpful to have a variety of different approaches on the basis of a deep feeling of the basic sameness of humanity. We can then make a joint effort to solve the problems of the whole of humankind. Every major religion has similar ideas of love, the same goal of benefiting through spiritual practice, and the same effect of making its followers into better human beings. All religions teach moral precepts for perfecting the functions of mind, body, and speech. All teach us not to lie or steal or take others’ lives, and so on.
The common goal of all moral precepts laid down by the great teachers of humanity is unselfishness. Those teachers wanted to lead their followers away from the paths of negative deeds caused by ignorance and to introduce them to paths of goodness. All religions can learn from one another; their ultimate goal is to produce better human beings who will be more tolerant, more compassionate, and less selfish. Human beings need spiritual as well as material sustenance. Without spiritual sustenance, it is difficult to get and maintain peace of mind. The purpose of religion is not to argue which one is the best. Over the past centuries, each great teaching has served humanity, so it’s much better to make friends, understand each other, and make an effort to serve humanity than to criticize or argue. Buddha, Jesus Christ, and all other great teachers created their ideas and teachings with sincere motivation, love, and kindness toward humanity, and they shared it for the benefit of humanity. I do not think those great teachers created differences to make trouble. Our human mind always likes different approaches.
There is a richness in the fact that there are so many different presentations of the way. There are two ways to enter into Buddhism: one through faith and one through reasoning. Faith alone may not be sufficient. Buddha always emphasized a balance of wisdom and compassion: a good brain and a good heart should work together. Placing importance on just the intellect and ignoring the heart can create more problems and more suffering in the world. On the other hand, if we emphasize only the heart, and ignore the brain, then there is not much difference between humans and animals. These two must be developed in balance, and when they are, the result is material progress accompanied by good spiritual development. Heart and mind working in harmony will yield a truly peaceful and friendly human family. I feel that my mission is, wherever I am, to express my feeling about the importance of kindness, compassion, and the true sense of brotherhood. I practice these things. It gives me more happiness, more success.
If I practice anger or jealousy or bitterness, no doubt my smile would disappear. The real troublemakers are anger, jealousy, impatience, and hatred. With them, problems cannot be solved. Though we may have temporary success, ultimately our hatred or anger will create further difficulties. Anger makes for swift solutions. Yet, when we face problems with compassion, sincerity, and good motivation, our solutions may take longer, but ultimately they are better. When I meet new people, in my mind there is no barrier, no curtain. As human beings you are my brothers and sisters; there is no difference in substance. I can talk with you as I would to old friends. With this feeling we can communicate without any difficulty and can make heart-to-heart contact. Based on such genuine human relations—real feeling for each other, understanding each other—we can develop mutual trust and respect. From that, we can share other peoples’ suffering and build harmony in human society.
This concept of the mind as sound has led Dr. Pillai to develop a science called Mind-Sound Technology. This technology employs the use of powerful phonemes (sound frequencies) to enhance intelligence. Different sound frequencies create different kinds of intelligence.
These sound frequencies, also known as mantras, are a part of the space energy (space energy is one of the five elements, the others being earth, water, fire and air). These sounds/mantras were discovered by yogis in deep states of trance, while meditating on space energy.
In order to make significant changes in your life, all you need to do is to rearrange the sound patterns of your own consciousness. This is what mantras do. Mantras are sounds of the unconscious.
While you are meditating on the mantra, it takes you very deep into layers of the unconscious. That's why people who use mantras get dramatic results. By using the mantra, you can go into deeper levels and rearrange the sound atoms of your own consciousness.
The mantras have been part of the Biblical tradition as well. The Bible says, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God." God created everything through his Word. The Word of God is the mantra. Jesus speaks about the power of mantras on two occasions.
No doubt the mantras are tiny, often consisting of only one or two syllables. But, is it not true that the atoms, tiny as they are, carry enormous power? The mantras are called Bijas in Sanskrit which means seeds. These can be compared to DNA; each DNA is a miniature of a particular person. With the help of DNA you can identify a person, and perhaps in the future, even clone the individual. Mantras are energy DNA's. You implant them in your mind and then you manifest the energy.
Mantras are universal, although they were originally discovered by the yogis of India and have long been part of the Hindu tradition. The practice of a mantra does not convert one to Hinduism or interfere with your own form of spirituality.
The Pillai Center for MindScience offers you mantras/sound frequencies to meet your different needs:
who have the reputation for teaching through a living design.
Some say they mathematically designed the great cathedrals of Europe,
and The Taj Mahal - which is why when entering these buildings a feeling
of peace can descend upon anyone who is receptive.
George Gurdjieff (in the photo) was a student of the Naqsbandi Sufis,
and great teacher in the method of teaching by design.
He would design a situation whereby the student had the chance of
actually experiencing their own fixed pattern in a real-life situation.
(George Ivanovich Gurdjieff was an influential spiritual teacher of the
early to mid-20th century who taught that most humans live their lives in a
state of hypnotic "waking sleep." Wikipedia)
This happened here just recently - partly by happenstance/coincidence,
and part by design. Someone was given the chance to see their very clear,
very fixed pattern, very clearly, and go beyond it.
Even with me sending out an email and recording to IML on the subject -
still they totally missed the opportunity.
As I seem to keep saying, when someone is not ready to allow change to
happen, then they will resist all chances of change happening.
Worse still, when they think they have gone beyond it, and they haven't,
they are in an even worse situation - because thinking they have gone
beyond it they stop looking.
Might be a good idea to have another look at your fixed patterns?
How? Check with your closest friends, and your most dreaded enemies.
First make it clear to them that you do not intend to hit them, then
listen. Whether you think what they share is true of not, listen, and let it in as
though it is true. Then, whether you think what they have shared is true
or not, thank them.
If you react, in any way at all - it is true - and you are hearing
something your fixed my mind does not want to hear. And of course you don't
have to hear - you can stay in your misery for as long as you like.
Not in misery?, and yet not in The State? -
The Peace That Passeth All Understanding?
If you are not in The State, then you are not experiencing the happiness
and deep fulfilment that is available to you - your True Self.
Here is an older email I sent some time ago.
Some of it is a little outdated for me now,
and overall it is still relevant.
As usual - not to be taken too seriously.
I have often been asked:
what is Enlightenment, and am I Enlightened.
I have no real idea about what is Enlightenment.
I seem to have more ideas of what it is not.
At one time I did investigate the phenomenon,
and I didn't come up with anything substantial.
In the Buddhist tradition, which seems to be the most successful in this
there are many and varying states that are declared 'Enlightened.'
The people I have visited or heard about who were declared Enlightened -
either by themselves or by others, seemed to have blind spots.
(An Eastern tradition says if you declare yourself Enlightened,
then you are not.)
These blind spots may have to do with them, or perhaps they come from
me and my idea of how these people would be if they were in such an
exalted state. Or maybe they were not revealing themselves to me
because I was not ready.
Yet I do feel there must be people who are clear.
A combination of my ideas and classical ideas of this state is that the
person lives in absolute truth, inside and out, has no feelings of revenge,
resentment or anger, holds no judgments, lives in a permanent state of
unconditional love, and doesn¹t take anything seriously.
There are other attributes and these are additions as far as I am
Classically it is said that an enlightened person can pass on the state to
suitable people by transference. They can manifest, heal, walk on water,
disappear and reappear in many places simultaneously -
whenever and wherever they want.
They are aware of, and can live in, all the 'levels' at the same time.
I think that is the traditional perception of Enlightenment.
I don't think I have met anyone like that.
Of course I may have and they didn't tell me because it was not
My overall feeling is that there are many different states
that are declared Enlightened.
I think that The True State, whatever it is, is very, very rare -
much more rare than we would like to admit.
I have come to feel that there may be several stages to this event,
and even the so-called final stage is not final.
There seems to be no beginning and no end. All is changing.
More common than The True State seems to be 'The Satori'.
The duration is short, and it¹s not so deep, and it¹s a wonderful
glimpse into the beyond. And it is very nice. Life changing.
I think when this happens, it is so strong people think, 'This is It.'
I don't believe it is.
Another event could be called Realization: the realization that we are not
just the body, mind, and emotions. We realize that the body mind and
emotions have a life of their own.
This does not mean that we are not responsible for them, but that we were
born with inherent programs, and we pick up a lot more during our childhood
conditioning and programming from religion, education, politics,
the social position of our parents, and general experiences in life.
We are recycled with parts that have cellular memory of their own.
Yet something, that is not any of these things, can watch all this.
When we realise this, there is a great sense of freedom.
And still, we are not yet 'There'.
Another stage is just watching our behavior and being responsible.
Not judging it, not supporting it, not suppressing it, just watching.
If full responsibility is taken, without judgment, without trying to
change anything, conditioning, character, personality, ego, pride,
all start to disappear.
And still we remain unique. I think that this stage is fragile and if we
do not take care we will become disconnected from whatever it is
we have realised and slip 'back' into a state that is less aware.
Another stage could be called 'No-Self Realisation.'
Who is the one watching that we are not the body, the mind or emotions?
And who is watching the watching?
At some stage a complete disappearance seems to happen.
A dreamless sleep. The Unformed.
There is nobody there to know that there is nobody there.
And then it becomes a lovely game.
Just floating in between 'here' and 'there.' And much more….
Is this stage permanent?
It may be that a Satori is a short experience of an altered state of
consciousness, and Enlightenment a longer experience.
In both cases, it ends when the experiencer decides not to continue
with the endless expansion. It is very overpowering.
The state leads to the dissolution of what we call "our self".
So there is no such thing as "self-realisation"; this state is the
realisation that there is no separate self.
So, the short experience of the state is usually called Satori,
the longer version, Enlightenment. In both cases the experiencer decides
to terminate the continued expansion of the event.
The True Seeker
Something I would like to add.
The majority of people do not seem to know that there is an alternate way
to live other than the way they were given.
Some people decide to 'improve their life¹; others decide to 'Search for
the Truth.' Both these states can be based on survival - safety, security
predictability - even though safety, security and predictability do not
exist in this dimension. (We have invented these terms to pacify ourselves.
These approaches are attempts to escape life just as it is, in each
Most 'Spiritual Seekers' are attempting to escape life as it is.
Very few are true seekers. In my opinion, a true seeker is not seeking.
A true seeker is living life fully in all its aspects, unconditionally,
gratefully, with awareness, and is continually open for anything that
A true seeker has come to see that life is about living in each moment¹
just as it is.
Not thinking about, understanding, working on, or surrendering to it.
Not even accepting it. Just living it with unconditional awareness.
A true seeker knows that life is as it is, in each moment.
There is no alternative to this moment, just as it is.
A true seeker has come to see that free will, as we think of it, is an
What we call and like to believe to be free will is the temporary illusion
that we are able to say yes or no to situations. We can of course,
but if we need to experience any situation, we will draw it to us, time
and time again, until we take responsibility for it.
I am not intending to say that it is all one way or the other.
The survivor can include expansion into more consciousness;
and the seeker can include the material world (he has to.)
One works and the other does not.
Nothing on the outside, in itself can bring a life without fear.
As Jesus said, it¹s The Peace That Passeth All Understanding.
I am not intending to infer that one state is better than another,
seeker or survivor. Everything just is. And no matter what - are we having fun?
Explaining the Unexplainable
One other thing Lao Tzu is quoted as saying:
'The truth cannot be said. If it is said, it is not the truth.'
I feel that it is true that it cannot be said, but it can be heard.
Although it cannot be said, in the attempt of saying the truth, from a
pure source, with the hearing of it, we can connect with the state that is already with
Well, not exactly—here is what the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism actually told his four million friends onFacebook earlier this fall:
“All the world’s major religions, with their emphasis on love, compassion, patience, tolerance, and forgiveness can and do promote inner values. But the reality of the world today is that grounding ethics in religion is no longer adequate. This is why I am increasingly convinced that the time has come to find a way of thinking about spirituality and ethics beyond religion altogether.”
It is easy to sympathize with the Dalai Lama’s frustration. After millennia of being preached at by priests and prophets, humanity is still addicted to war; we continue to lay waste to the planet’s fragile ecosystem; we torture animals, repress ethnic minorities, and ignore the plight of the poor. Worse still, religion has often in service of the very sins of intolerance that its prophets have railed against. Abortion clinics are bombed to support a “pro-life” agenda; religiously inspired hatred in the Middle East have fueled ongoing war—religiously inspired hatred everywhere have led to countless horrors.
In the past, such moral failings, while contributing to human misery, did not put life itself at risk. But that has changed. Our once-marginal species is now the dominant life form on the planet numbering over seven billion souls. Granted, there are still more microorganisms in a shovelful of prime agricultural soil than human beings on Earth. But bacteria don’t have brains, and the crux of the problem is that we do. To call the brain a “problem,” of course, is only half of the story. The human mind has created art, science, philosophy, government, education, and the miracles of modern medicine. Religion, with its exalted ethical and spiritual teachings, is another example—whatever Richard Dawkins might say—of our human capacity for creating good.
The New Atheists are right of course when they fault religion for not living up to its own ideals. They would get no argument from the Dalai Lama on this. But His Holiness would be quick to point out that the moral principles themselves are not to blame—it’s our failure to act on them. The Dalai Lama recommends a radical new approach: a religionless religion, if you will, stripped of myth, superstition, and narrow dogmatism, and focused on the practical work of transforming human behavior. He wants to incorporate the insights of the hard sciences as well as psychology, philosophy, and sociology into a broad-based new discipline to address our current moral crisis. But can religion be rationalized into a pure system of ethics without losing its (historically) persuasive power?
Some have pointed to Buddhism itself as an example of just such a system. Western practitioners like to think of Buddhism as a methodology for self-cultivation rather than as a religion per se. But Tibetan Buddhism, with its pantheon of deities and arcane practices, certainly looks familiarly religious to those of us brought up on Western religious myths and symbols. I suspect that His Holiness would agree that these religious elements are not a bad thing. Because religion, for all its faults, seems to have an unrivaled capacity to move us, and to motivate us. Perhaps that has something to do with stories—we want to know how our private stories fit into the greater cosmic narrative. The Dalai Lama seems to be saying that religion needs to work harder to bridge the gap between the story that it tells and our actions in the world. It is not enough to provide believers with a comforting world view; religion should give people tools to act upon the sacred ideals that it preaches.
The way to accomplish this, according to the Dalai Lama, is spiritual practice. “We are now in the twenty-first century,” writes Tibet’s leading monk. “The world is also facing a lot of new problems, most of which are man-made. The root cause of these man made problems is the inability of human being to control their agitated minds. How to control such a state of mind is taught by the various religions of this world.”
The Dalai Lama advocates prayer and meditation as an antidote to the mind’s capacity for mischief. But he insists that we need not limit ourselves to traditional spiritual techniques. He has written a book on the convergence of views between Buddhism and science and he helped to organize conferences where religious thinkers meet with scientists to explore their common ground. This is because, in his view, science can help religion to fine tune its own methods. (Neurology has already gone a long way toward validating the reality of spiritual states by documenting, for example, similar changes in regions of the cerebral cortex in Cistercian monks during prayer as it has shown in Buddhist monks during meditation.)
The Dalai Lama believes that the fundamental ethical discoveries of religion are scientifically verifiable. When we actually live religiously—and don’t just profess a set of beliefs—we become more forgiving, peaceful, tolerant, attentive and inspired. This in turn leads to profound psychological and physiological changes which can be studied—and even measured.
It is time, the Dalai Lama says, to take the discoveries of spirituality out of the monasteries and into the world. While mindfulness meditation has been introduced into schools, hospitals, and even corporate boardrooms as a technique to lower stress, improve concentration, and help resolve conflicts, Tibet’s religious leader is acutely aware that none of this is enough. “It is all too evident that our moral thinking simply has not been able to keep pace with such rapid progress in our acquisition of knowledge and power,” the Dalai Lama told a group of scientists in 2005. The bottom line is that taming the mind creates more peaceful and contented human beings. This is the crux of the Dalai Lama’s message—because, as his urgency suggests, we are running out of time to get it right.
Richard Schiffman is a spiritual author, poet and journalist. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Christian Science Monitor and he is a regular blogger on The Huffington Post. Picture: His Holiness the Dalai Lama looking out at the crowds awaiting his appearance at NYC's Lincoln Center last month. Photo/Jeremy Russell/OHHDL.
A Near-Death Experience Opens the Door to a PERMANENT TRANSFORMATION
From What is Enlightenment? presents a vivid and thoughtful account of a former spiritual cynic’s experience of being suddenly and unexpectedly catapulted into an altered state of consciousness. Fascinating as a unique expression of transcendent realization, John Wren-Lewis’ description of his powerful spiritual experience is deeply moving and profoundly inspiring. His perspective is unique, he claims, not only because his awakening was thrust upon him without him seeking for it, but also because, for that very reason, he questions many commonly held beliefs about the nature of spiritual awakening.
This may sound far off for some people, a place unattainable, a state made available only for a few, but I can assure you that it doesn't require you to change or to become different at all to know this firsthand. It only requires a willingness to stop. The more we stop and the more we let go, the more our consciousness naturally opens.