Reflections on the Spiritual Path


Overcoming Fear

"Only a person who believes that he is different from the Self, that he is other than the Self, who maintains his separate identity as a man or a woman, remains fearful. Fear exists in the feeling of separation, the feeling of otherness. The moment you acquire knowledge of the Truth, you will become fearless. Yet even if you do not have knowledge of the Self, you should realize that there is nothing to be afraid of. You should never be afraid of death or of sickness. You should never wonder what is going to happen. Instead, you should trust God. Understand that you are the Self. Understand that the Guru's Shakti always stands behind you. Understand that God and Guru exist everywhere: before you, behind you, above you, and below you." (Muktananda, I Have Become Alive, 119)

Jesus was a Liberal


Overcoming Anger

In all the talk of religion and moral values that goes on in this country, let us not abandon Jesus to the conservatives. It's time for us "liberals" to step up and claim that Jesus was a liberal. His was a liberal agenda. He had compassion on and fed the multitudes; he didn't ask that everyone have his own social security portfolio and look after himself. Jesus was meek, not aggressive or belligerent. He forgave his enemies; he didn't make war on them. He didn't interfere in or try to overturn Roman policies; he separated what was Caesar's from what was God's. He befriended outcasts and sinners; he didn't blame them. He aided the poor, the meek, the hungry, those who mourn, and said they would be first in the kingdom of heaven. Indeed, he said the first would be last and the last first. He said to give to everyone who begs of us, offer the other cheek to those who strike us. He didn't say strike them before they strike us. The Sermon on the Mount is a liberal manifesto, a breath of fresh air back in that age of divisions between Jews and Romans and among competing Jewish sects, and it is a breath of fresh air in our bellicose and divided age.

"Suppose that you decide to use a term of abuse against someone or to speak ill of someone. That person may or may not be affected, but you will be immediately affected, because the vibrations of your abusive words will be recorded on your internal tape. It is not good to become angry or emotionally upset. You should be aware that such emotions are your enemies. . . . They will do you terrible harm. They work against your inner peace, bliss, and fulfillment. .. . . [Anger] completely changes your heart. Therefore, you should discard your tendency to become angry. If you control your anger, it turns into its opposite, love." (Muktananda, I Have Become Alive, 121-23)

The Loving Present


Ignore Abuse

How pleasant is meditation, how easy and without struggle. Most of my cognitive life involves memory, reasoning, logic and persuasion, always moving back and forward to some outcome. Meditation has none of that. It is purely occupied in the present, without concern for past or future. It is pure enjoyment of the moment. It posseses what it loves and settles down to enjoy it. Perhaps it turns its beloved object over to look at it from more sides, to increase its love and appreciation, but it is still its loving gaze that occupies it. It doesn't involve ego. There is no sense of claiming anything. It does not say, "This is mine." Having precludes claiming. It does not need anything; it has everything, now and for as long as we remain in this state of absorption. Bliss is ours.

"If someone abuses you, you have to use your power of discrimination. First, think whether you deserve this criticism. If you do, then change yourself. If you do not, then why should you accept it? There is no value in praise or censure for a person on the spiritual path. If we want to make real progress, then we have to transcend this pair of opposites. We remain unhappy because we are bound by these dualities; we are affected by praise and censure. . . . All the saints have insisted that one should go beyond praise and censure and also that one should not praise or blame others.
Kabir says in one of his poems: Let others fight, but you keep remembering God. When the elephant sways in its own ecstasy, the dogs begin to bark at him, but the elephant leaves the dogs alone."
(Muktenanda, I Have Become Alive, 118)


Self Mastery and Humility

"When you have self-control, you conquer all your senses, and by conquering your senses you gain great strength and energy.
In your heart and in your actions you should become humble. You should regard everyone as equal, for God dwells in everyone's heart. Shaivism says that the awareness of equality is the highest attaiment. It is true religion. Everyone should have this attitude. You should look upon everything-plants, trees, religions, and other people-with equal vision. But that does not mean that you should become feeble. You should be very strong and courageous, and you should also have discrimination."
(Muktananda, I Have Become Alive, 124)



You are better than any earthly treasure. You are the pearl of great price that one sells all he has to possess. You are more lovely than any earthly beauty; your taste is sweeter than honey or any earthly flavor; your smell more fragrant than incense; your light brighter than all the suns in the universe. When you come to me, I welcome you and invite you in, gladder to have you than any earthly friend. When you come into my world, it expands to let you in. Your presence is so immense that I dwindle to nothing; your sun so brilliant that my candle is extinguished; your light in everything created is so great that all other things disappear and you alone are visible. You alone are the real sun. In comparison with you, all reated thngs are shadows. Plato was right in his allegory of the cave. Let me hang on to this realization at all times.



Just as I am the witness, the driver, not the vehicle of my body, so all the various forms that we mistakenly limit the divine to and stumble over-- Jesus or Moses or Allah or a thousand avatars--all these are but the thousand masks of the Self.
I am one of those masks, evolving upwards, whereas avatars have descended, taken their vehicles for the time and the age, voluntarily. Only one Divine Self looks out from behind the myriad masks.

Tolerance among societies is built up slowly, like glacial moraine, a gradual process of water moving perpetually over the large boulders of our differences, grinding them into small rocks and earth and eventually into a fine soil that covers and hides the underlying differences. This fine sandy soil is a bridge of tolerance, restraint and forbearance, allowing societies to communicate freely and securely across the underlying differences that may still lie buried.

Like a Child




I come to you like a child, unwilling to be torn
from its play to meet a grownup.
I drag all my toys into your house,
unable to leave them outside.
You reach out your hand to me;
I take it, not knowing what to do.
I stand dumb, then feeling
the great distance between us, I kneel,
still holding your hand.
My restless spirit quiets down.

"You should think about the nature of the things you are attached to. If you are attached to limited and perishable things, when they perish you will weep and lament. What is the use of an attachment that only brings you suffering? If you could turn your feeling of attachment toward the inner Self, toward God, then your attachment would be very good for you. Don't give up attachment; only turn it toward God and away from the things of this world." (Muktenanda, I Have Become Alive, 131)  

God Is Not on a Shelf

The Sucker or the Leach

God Is Secular


God is not on a shelf, or in a library,
or in a book;
God is not in a pearl, in one perfect person,
in one perfect Church.
God is not where we can access "him"
only at certain times-
when we pray, or go to church,
or gather three together in his name.
God is readily available, in the thick of our lives--
the energy that powers our movements.
God is not cloistered or remote.
God is what charges us up,
Indispensable, until our last breath.

I am the leach that clings to God.
Blind, attached at the mouth,
I suck on God,
filling myself with God's blood.
Why am I not the babe
sucking its mother's milk?
Still, I am the dedicated leach.

God is not religious; God is secular.
The thief and the victim both are God's.
Those who think God is only in the good deceive themselves.
God is not confined within our categories.
God mocks our pieties.
God is not reverend, but irreverend.
Outside our limits.
We do not know God, yet God is everywhere apparent.
I think God must be blind to our faults,
Perhaps even to our allegiances.
God cares and does not care.



The Spiritual Path

The Safe Hole

A Secret Garden

Burrowing In

The Spirit Door
The Ashram/the World
Know Thyself
Double Vision
Guru Lineage in John
The Candle
Meditation Rehearsal
Meditation Review

Far Horizons

Remembering Our Self
The Witness
The Pure I
Ash Wednesday
The Drama of War
War and Anxiety
War and Peace
Ahab's Lesson
Palm Sunday

The False Self and the True Self
The Ego and the Self
The Ego's Delusions
The Guru
The Witness
The Disciple
I am That
Stilling the Mind
Essential Teaching
Check Your Attitude
The Play of the Lord
The World Is as You See It

Veni Creator Spiritus

Quia Amore Langueo


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