Wisdom from Swami Vivekananda

Look Into My Crystal Ball

The soul of man is like a piece of crystal, but it takes the color of whatever is near it. Whatever the soul touches… it has to take its color. That is the difficulty. That constitutes bondage. The color is so strong, the crystal forgets itself and identifies itself with the color. Suppose a red flower is near the crystal: the crystal takes the color and forgets itself, thinks it is red. We have taken the color of the body and have forgotten what we are. All the difficulties that follow come from that one dead body. All our fears, all worries, anxieties, troubles, mistakes, weakness, evil, are from that one great blunder — that we are bodies [the physical identity]. This is the ordinary person. It is the person taking the color of the flower near to it. We are no more bodies than the crystal is the red flower.

— Swami Vivekananda

See also: You are deathless, birthless, You are the infinite spirit (Bhagavad Gita 2.22- 30)

(Photo by Jennuine Captures)

Why fear?

Graceful Morning

I died as a mineral and became a plant,
I died as plant and rose to animal,
I died as animal and I was Man.
Why should I fear? When was I less by dying?
Yet once more I shall die as Man, to soar
With angels blest; but even from angelhood
I must pass on: all except God doth perish.
When I have sacrificed my angel-soul,
I shall become what no mind e’er conceived.
Oh, let me not exist! for Non-existence
Proclaims in organ tones, To Him we shall return.

— Rumi

(Picture by h.koppdelaney)

Contemplation

melting into presence

Don’t follow past thoughts, don’t anticipate the future, and don’t follow illusory thoughts that arise in the present; but turning within, observe your own true nature and maintain awareness of your natural mind, just as it is, beyond the conceptual limitations of past, present, and future.

— Garab Dorje, the earliest Dzogchen master.

(Photo by AlicePopkorn)

Past, present, and future

Droste Experiment

People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.

— Albert Einstein

Why? Because now is all that is. The past, the present, and the future, all is contained in this moment, now.

How? What you think as past is nothing but your recollection, from your memories, of what you suppose to have happened. It’s not real, it doesn’t exist now, it’s only your memories. And what you think as future is your imagination. Right now it exists only in your mind, otherwise it is not real. The present is the only time that comes close to real, present is what you perceive to be happening right now, and even all recollection (of the past) and all imagination (of the future) can happen in your mind only in the present moment.

Read also this post.

(Photo by Thorsten)

In silence, you know what needs to be known

Lotos Buddha

When the mind is perfectly silent, pure like a well-polished mirror, immobile as a pond on a breezeless day, then, from above, as the light of the stars drops in the motionless waters, so the light of the supermind, of the Truth within, shines in the quieted mind and gives birth to intuition. Those who are accustomed to listen to this voice out of the Silence, take it more and more as the instigating motive of their actions; and where others, the average men, wander along the intricate paths of reasoning, they go straight their way, guided through the windings of life by intuition, this superior instinct, as by a strong and unfailing hand. This faculty which is exceptional, almost abnormal now, will certainly be quite common and natural for the new race, the man of tomorrow.

— Mother Mirra (Words of Long Ago, p. 164)

(Picture by Angela Marie)

Love is Shiva, Shiva is Love

Tibet:Mount Kailash,Gangs Rin-po-che, meaning "precious jewel of snows" གངས་རིན་པོ་ཆེ། 6638m

Love and Shiva [God] are two, the ignorant say
Love alone is Shiva, they know not
Love is Shiva, when realized
Love alone remains, as Shiva, for ever.

Thirumantiram, 270

Original:
அன்பு சிவம் இரண்டு என்பர் அறிவிலார்
அன்பே சிவமாவது ஆரும் அறிகிலார்
அன்பே சிவமாவது ஆரும் அறிந்தபின்
அன்பே சிவமாய் அமர்ந்திருந் தாரே.

(Photo by Jan Reurink)

True compassion…

anjana-the-chimpanzee-and-tiger-cub

Real compassion is not just an emotional response; it is a firm, thought-out commitment. … True compassion does not stem from the pleasure of feeling close to one person or another, but from the conviction that other people are just like me and want not to suffer but to be happy, and from a commitment to help them overcome what causes them to suffer.

— Dalai Lama

Click here to learn more about Anjana the chimp caring for the tiger cubs.

(Photo © Barry Bland / Barcroft Media)