Jesus: How to pray

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Alternative translation

“Whenever you pray, go into your room, close the door, and pray to your Father who is hidden. And your Father who sees from the hidden place will reward you.”

(International Standard Version)

Here is the context of the quote:

And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets so that they might be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their recompense.
But you when you pray, enter into your inner room, and having shut your door, pray to your Father, the One in secret. And your Father, the One seeing in secret, will reward you.
And when you pray, do not babble on like pagans, for they think that by their many words they will be heard.
Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.

Matthew 6:5-8

Bhagavad Gita: the most secret teaching

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Lord Krishna states this is his most secret teaching: to love Him, to devote ourselves to Him, to be with Him knowingly.

He is already in each of our hearts, He is already everywhere and everything, everything is already done by Him.

Here knowledge, scripture and philosophy all crumble as, through our devotion, the heart opens. All are consumed by Him, and all we are left with is Him in all His glory.

We never were. All there ever was was Him.

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As Jesus said when asked:

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”
And he [Jesus] said to him,
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.This is the greatest and first commandment.”

Matthew 22:36-38

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Also, as Shankara sung in his Bhaja Govindam:

“Worship Govinda, worship Govinda, worship Govinda,
Oh fool! Other than chanting the Lord’s names, there is no other way to cross the life’s ocean.”
(Govinda is another name for Krishna. Literally it means ‘protector of cows’ referring to Krishna’s youth as a cow herd.)

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So, all that’s left for me do to is bow down and praise Him

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Hare Krishna!

Om Namah Shivaya!

May all beings be happy and well!

Praise be to God!

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See also:

Was Jesus ever born?

The pre-eminent form of worship

 

THE LIGHT THAT SHINES WITHIN

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There is a light. A light that shines within. You can call it the light of consciousness. It is the light by which we can see, hear, smell, taste, touch and think. When we close our eyes and imagine something, it is also illumined by this inner light. When we imagine only darkness but are still thinking, this ‘light’ is that which ‘illumines’ our thoughts as well as the darkness. We know both light and dark because of it. It also illumines our dreams as well as our waking life.

Have you ever noticed this light, this inner light? Have you ever noticed how, peculiarly, it never changes? It is the one constant: your thoughts and opinions have no doubt changed over time; your body has grown and altered over years past; your emotions most probably fluctuate throughout the day. But the light by which you are conscious/aware of these remains the same.

Imagine yourself as a young child. Do you remember what it was like to be you back then? Try to picture a specific memory in your mind. Do you, like me, have a sense that you were basically the same person then as you are now? If so, what is it now that is the same as then? As I said, your thoughts,body and feelings have all changed over time, but something remains the same, unchanged. What is that unchanged essence? This is the inner presence-light that cannot be put into words but is always there.

That light can also be felt as a presence. Actually, it cannot be felt as anything, rather through it feeling occurs and presence is felt. For though it perceives, it cannot be perceived. For though it illumines, it cannot be illuminated/seen (just like how electricity which illumines a light bulb cannot be seen). But it is undeniably present (Please note that putting this into words makes something that is as simple as our own being seem overly complex. If you stick to your own direct experience, you will see how simple it all is).

From the point of view of your own direct experience of living, this illuminating-presence is the essence of what you are. No matter what happens to you, it is unscathed, unchanged, unharmed, unmodified.

‘Blades do not pierce it, fire does not burn it, waters do not wet it, and the wind does not parch it’
Bhagavad Gita 2.23

If you believe your thoughts and take yourself to be a limited body-mind entity, this aware-presence can be felt as something external looking down at you – it can be felt as God’s ever-present gaze lovingly embracing you.

‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’
Acts 17:28

If however you remain silent, as thoughts subside this sense of identification can fall away and you can see that this presence is actually the essence of what you already are. We can see that our true-nature is awareness-consciousness-spirit.

‘The eye with which I see God is the same eye with which God sees me.’
Meister Eckhart

Know that spirit or light within cannot be described or pinned down. It is everywhere, as light is everywhere, but it is no particular thing. Any object you can see/feel/perceive is not that spirit-light. It cannot be experienced, as it is that which allows experience to occur – it transcends experience. And while it is no particular thing and no particular experience, without it no things would be experienced. In this sense all things are dependent on it.

‘They can’t say, ‘Here it is!’ or ‘There it is!’ You see, the kingdom of God is within you.’
Luke 17:21

This is the divine essence that resides in each and every one of us. See, if you believe in God but do not have a feel for this inner spirit-light, then your god is simply a projection of your mind/thought. If however you feel this inner light, then what need have you for belief? Divine spirit is already here lighting up and animating your life. Instead learn to trust it, have faith in it – it is not a projection, but a sense of eternal unchanging presence that is always there patiently waiting, patiently supporting you. Pay attention to it throughout the day, allow it to seep into your being, engulf you and wash you clean.

‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him,and he will make straight your paths.’
Proverbs 3:5-6

Lean on Spirit, the innermost essence of you, and see what happens. Allow God to reveal herself to you. Like falling asleep, this is not something you can do, but something you have to allow to happen.

‘Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reactions. Do not fear.’
Bhagavad Gita 18.66

Ultimately God is beyond all concepts and labels, even concepts of consciousness or inner light. All concepts of the ultimate dissolve in that Unnameable Reality.

 

Non-dual devotion, worship and prayer

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In advaita (non-duality), we know that the God which is devote ourselves to is not separate from us.

For many purists there is no place for devotion and prayer in non-duality. But devotion has always had a prominent role in spiritual traditions, and for good reason: it can be a hugely purifying and uplifting part of spiritual practice with many positive effects on the body and mind and our relationships. (click here for how devotion can be part of a wider spiritual path)

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God is everywhere

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God is everywhere

– where is She not?

All there is is God. It is not right to say God is in all things, for that implies a duality between things and God. It is not right to say God is in you, for that implies you are a container for God and different to God.

There are no things, only God. The idea of separate things is illusory. There is just an interconnected whole. Call this wholeness God, or Life, or The Great Spirit, or anything you like. There is no room for anything else. Only God. No ‘you’, no ‘I’, just ‘Him’.

Is there even a single particle where ‘She’ is not? (Is She not omnipresent and infinite?)

Everything moves and has its being in Him. Everything that moves and has being (exists) is also Him.

All there is is God. All is God.

 

A Christmas message: was Jesus ever Born?

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The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was [already] in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him.
John 1:9-10

Christmas is meant to be about celebrating the birth of Jesus, and the above bible verse tells of his coming. But was Jesus ever born? I’m not asking whether or not he existed, I’m asking was Jesus an entity that was born into this world, or was Jesus something else?

In John’s gospel the opening chapter proclaims the coming birth of Jesus Christ. But in verse 10 (above) it clearly states that Jesus already existed prior to his birth, and prior to the existence of the world: he was already in the world, the world was made through him, but the world knew him not.

This is not referring to the human Jesus made of flesh and blood, but something else, something deeper, more subtle, more universal and more potent. This Christ is the True Light, as per verse 9 above, the deeper essence of Christ. A few chapters later in John’s Gospel Jesus himself testifies that he was never born:

Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.”
John 8:58

Note, Jesus doesn’t say ‘I was’, he says ‘I AM‘, again indicating he is and always has been beyond the notion of time. Anyone who has studied vedanta and other spiritual traditions would be familiar with similar sayings espoused by countless sages in ages gone past.

Jesus is not identifying himself as the body-mind entity, but as the Absolute, the Father, the unborn, that which always IS, that which is never not.

So here’s to wishing you all a very Merry Christmas, and when we come together to celebrate Jesus’s birth, let us remember the deeper import of Jesus’s teachings: to be with the Father, the Absolute, that to which we are all slaves whether we know it or not.

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he [Jesus] said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.This is the greatest and first commandment.”
Matthew 22:36-38

And it is in discovering this slavery that we actually ‘become’ free.

So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise.”
John 5:19

Merry Christmas everyone!!!

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