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Newsletters

2012

APRIL

N° 27

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.
I offer myself completely to give the best support and direction that I can and ask now to be in close contact with those who truly want to serve me and the Dhamma by making it available to others.
As my teacher said when I originally declined his instruction to share Dhamma, ‘I don’t ask you for you. I ask you so that others might receive the Dhamma.’
My humble abition is to see regular group meetings in many towns and even countries based around skype Dhamma Talks, to maintain the vital teacher/student relationship.
I was blessed with this relationship and I can only recommend it to others.
Close contact in this way can be likened to Weight Watchers.
Not only do they give good advice for losing weight, but perhaps more importantly, they offer support during this process. Without this support it is easy to find ourselves lost or confused.
Our Dhamma Path is not different.
Also, as part of our comittment to bring the Pure Dhamma to as many people as possible. Isabelle has worked very hard and upgraded and revitalised all our connected websites.
We want to cultivate a Pure Dhamma network under the title of 'Being Awake', so that there is a common theme throughout my presentation of Dhamma.
Awakening is the most important thing in life and if we have a true intention, it can be our own reality.
One significant addition to our Pure Dhamma website is the inclusion of a Podcast page.
Helped and encouraged by my son Mike, I have given answers to specific Dhamma questions and concerns, and new ones will be added as often as we can..
For me, everything is about Dhamma, and my joy is to share it with as many beings as possible. I ask you to make this journey with me.


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.
It is not my place to tell you how to live, or what you should or should not do, but only to share with you the Pure Dhamma as my teacher shared it with me. This is the great and beautiful tradition of sharing the Truth. Not religion, not politics, not social adgenda, only mutual love, respect and above all, self responsibility.
Our intention here is to make close contact with the Master readily available so that a true and energetic Dhamma practice remains our priority, and that we don’t feel isolated or even abandoned, in our spiritual life.
Dhamma realisation brings peace, happiness and a depth of understanding that we cannot even begin to imagine before we have it. The reality is simple, when we are happy we will share that happiness with all beings, when we are confused we will share that confusion with all beings. Ultimately the whole world will benefit by you staying on the path of love and awareness. When the heart is open, the face smiles.
Anjali with Michael will take the form of the retreat private interview where you are free to ask questions about meditation practice or simply life itself. The time will be for you and with the free modern technology of Skype, vision and sound are available together. We will encourage you to make this committment for a private Dhamma session at least once a month.
Of course, we ask that a small fee is paid to support the life of the teacher and also because you as a disciple must show your intention to be serious about this relationship. Dhamma is the most important thing in life, please don’t miss the opportunity to be in the presence of someone who lives it moment to moment.
For details of this please contact us.


May all beings be happy

*******

Testamonials

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.
We would also like to hear testamonials from people who have had skype contact with Michael. Go to the On-Line Teachings page to add yours.

 

*******

   

Koan:

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.

Dhamma quotation:

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
Michael Kewley

Sound Bites:
'Without a close and intimate reltionship with the Master
we will simply drift in our spiritual life.'
(Skype Dhamma Talk 2012)

Next Pure Dhamma Newsletter, July 2012

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