Those who mistake the shadow
for the substance,
and the substance for the shadow,
will never arrive at the place of Truth
as they continually pursue false goals.
Dhammapada verse : 11
Dhamma reality & fantasy
At one time many years ago, I had a female student who came to learn Vipassana meditation with me. After some weeks she was met by a friend who also claimed a meditation practice.
‘How long have you been learning?’ asked the friend.
‘Oh, for about six weeks now,’ my student replied.
‘Are you seeing green lights yet?’ continued the friend.
‘No,’ replied my student somewhat startled by the question.
‘Then your meditation isn’t working!’ said the friend.
Some years ago I was invited to give lectures and workshops at the Mind, Body Spirit festival in London. This was intriguing for me as I would be able to meet and brush shoulders with other spiritual practioners, albeit from many so called ‘New Age’ disciplines. In the end it was an interesting and often amusing experience and it’s teachings of personal confusion and manipulation have stayed with me since that time.
The spiritual world is filled with imagination and fantasy and, like the Harry Potter films, is very appealing to many. I witnessed many things that were not only surprising to someone who had earnestly trained with a true master for many years, but actually shocking as to the level of spiritual exploitation and manipulation rampant at such an exposition.
It is true that if we are not awake, we are truly asleep and in our endless quest for happiness and ego reinforcement we will open ourselves to many kinds of foolishness, no matter how intelligent we feel ourselves to be.
A man sat in a restaurant and asked the waiter what was the special of the day.
‘We have a wonderful piece of tongue,’ replied the waiter.
The customer was shocked, ‘oh no,’ he cried, ‘I couldn’t eat anything that has come out of the mouth of an animal. Bring me an egg!’
The reality of our training is that the deep and profound truth that we call Dhamma is, in fact, quite ordinary and is always right in front of us.
However, it is the very ‘nothing specialness’ of this truth that becomes the greatest obstacle to it’s complete realisation, and because of this remains unknown to the majority of spiritual and religious practictioners who earnestly seek something out side the reality of the moment, and therefore the reality of life.
The world that we experience is always unique and personal to us, as is everything we meet and empower. It begins and ends with mind.
Wherever we feel ourselves to be in our life right now, is only the consequence of the different moments of mind that we have empowered and brought into fruition. No-one can lift you up,but no-one can throw you down either. No-one can make you happy, but no-one can make you unhappy either, only you can do these things!
The secret of true and complete liberation is always with us, and takes only a moment of clarity. To stop seeking something from outside ourselves to bring happiness, and to realise that everything that we want, we already have.
We don’t need Buddha statues or incense, crucifixes or rosaries, chanting, affirmations or magic spells.
In the end, freedom isn’t something to get, it’s something to realise.
The Buddha used his life as his greatest teacher. Old age, sickness and death. Pain, suffering, disatisfaction and fear. Happiness and unhappiness arising and passing away.
Not special qualities available to only a chosen few, but the very best Dhamma masters directly in front of us if only we know how to look and have the bravery and honesty to apply ourselves to their teachings.
The true liberation of Dhamma is never a ‘getting of something’, no matter what colour or how enticing that may be, but only the putting down and walking away from the delusion of ego and self identity – the true cause of our unhappiness and disatisfaction in life.
May all beings be happy.
My return from India & Being Awake
Inspired as always by my recent sojourn in the beautiful country of India, and perhaps especially in my spiritual home of Budh Gaya, I want to encourage everyone, no matter who, no matter where, to make the best use of our limited lifetime to commit to a true and enthusisastic Dhamma practice.
May all beings be happy.
Anjali with Michael
coming together in Dhamma
A new service for close disciples of Michael
Anjali is the Buddhist word for the hands coming together in front of the heart in an attitude of prayer. It signifies mutual respect, gratitude and humility, and this is where we meet you and I, on our Dhamma Path, in an environment of love and compassion.
May all beings be happy
Our motivating force this year is to bring the Pure Dhamma Teachings to as many people as possible. One way to encourage others to learn more about Michael is through written testamonials. A new page has been added to our website, and we thank everyone who has generously supplied their words and experiences of their relationship with Michael. If you would like to add your thoughts to this page we will be very happy and grateful to hear from you. You can write your comments directly by going to this page on our website.
The Master called out to himself every day: `Master.' Then he answered himself: `Yes, sir.' After that he added: `Stay clear.' Again he answered: `Yes, sir.'`
After that,' he continued, `do not be deceived by others.'
`Yes, sir; yes, sir,' he answered.
Talking about awareness is not being aware. Talking about love is not being loving. In the end we cannot escape the neccessity of the actual work of practice.
From Buttons in the Dana box
'Without a close and intimate reltionship with the Master
we will simply drift in our spiritual life.'
(Skype Dhamma Talk 2012)
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