Friday, April 10, 2015

I came across this incredible compilation I made about meditation in 2006. Awesome! Thanks to Ocean, of course! :-)

By making his body the under-wood, and the syllable Om the upper-wood, man, after repeating the drill of meditation, will perceive the bright god, like the spark hidden in the wood.
            (Upanishads vol. 2, Svetasvatara-Upanishad)

The sages, devoted to meditation and concentration, have seen the power belonging to God himself, hidden in its own qualities (guna).
            (Upanishads vol. 2, Svetasvatara-Upanishad)

That happiness which belongs to a mind which by deep meditation has been washed clean from all impurity and has entered within the Self, cannot be described here by words; it can be felt by the inward power only.
            (Upanishads vol. 2, Maitrayana-Brahmaya-Upanishad)

'Meditation is directed to the highest Being (Brahman) within, and (before) to the objects (body, Om, mind); thence the indistinct understanding becomes distinct.
            (Upanishads vol. 2, Maitrayana-Brahmaya-Upanishad)

'The wise who, by means of meditation on his Self, recognises the Ancient, who is difficult to be seen, who has entered into the dark, who is hidden in the cave, who dwells in the abyss, as God, he indeed leaves joy and sorrow far behind.'
            (Upanishads vol. 2, Katha-Upanishad)

To speak no ill,
To do no harm,
To observe the Rules,
To be moderate in eating,
To live in a secluded abode,
To devote oneself to meditation;
This is the Message of the Buddhas.
            (Buddhist, Dhammapada - Sayings of the Buddha 3 (tr. J. Richards))

There is no meditation without wisdom, and there is no wisdom without meditation. When a man has both meditation and wisdom, he is indeed close to nirvana.
            (Buddhist, Dhammapada - Sayings of the Buddha 1 (tr. J. Richards))

Without the Guru, there is no spiritual wisdom; without Dharma, there is no meditation.
            (Shri Guru Granth Sahib, Section 43 - Shaloks In Addition To The Vaars)

You are as tiny and insignificant as an ant, but you shall become great, by the Wealth of the Lord's Meditation.
Nanak bows in humble worship, countless times, over and over again.
            (Shri Guru Granth Sahib, Section 36 - Shalok Sehskritee, First Mehl, Fifth Mehl)

But he that giveth his mind to the law of the most High, and is occupied in the meditation thereof, will seek out the wisdom of all the ancient, and be occupied in prophecies.
            (Deuterocanonical Apocrypha, Sirach)

Bahá'u'lláh says there is a sign (from God) in every phenomenon: the sign of the intellect is contemplation and the sign of contemplation is silence, because it is impossible for a man to do two things at one time – he cannot both speak and meditate.

It is an axiomatic fact that while you meditate you are speaking with your own spirit. In that state of mind you put certain questions to your spirit and the spirit answers: the light breaks forth and the reality is revealed.

You cannot apply the name ‘man’ to any being void of this faculty of meditation; without it he would be a mere animal, lower than the beasts.

Through the faculty of meditation man attains to eternal life; through it he receives the breath of the Holy Spirit – the bestowal of the Spirit is given in reflection and meditation.

The spirit of man is itself informed and strengthened during meditation; through it affairs of which man knew nothing are unfolded before his view. Through it he receives Divine inspiration, through it he receives heavenly food.

Meditation is the key for opening the doors of mysteries. In that state man abstracts himself: in that state man withdraws himself from all outside objects; in that subjective mood he is immersed in the ocean of spiritual life and can unfold the secrets of things-in-themselves. To illustrate this, think of man as endowed with two kinds of sight; when the power of insight is being used the outward power of vision does not see.

This faculty of meditation frees man from the animal nature, discerns the reality of things, puts man in touch with God.

This faculty brings forth from the invisible plane the sciences and arts. Through the meditative faculty inventions are made possible, colossal undertakings are carried out; through it governments can run smoothly. Through this faculty man enters into the very Kingdom of God.
            (Abdu'l-Baha, Paris Talks, p. 174)

Nevertheless some thoughts are useless to man; they are like waves moving in the sea without result. But if the faculty of meditation is bathed in the inner light and characterized with divine attributes, the results will be confirmed.

The meditative faculty is akin to the mirror; if you put it before earthly objects it will reflect them. Therefore if the spirit of man is contemplating earthly subjects he will be informed of these.

But if you turn the mirror of your spirits heavenwards, the heavenly constellations and the rays of the Sun of Reality will be reflected in your hearts, and the virtues of the Kingdom will be obtained.

Therefore let us keep this faculty rightly directed – turning it to the heavenly Sun and not to earthly objects -- so that we may discover the secrets of the Kingdom, and comprehend the allegories of the Bible and the mysteries of the spirit.

May we indeed become mirrors reflecting the heavenly realities, and may we become so pure as to reflect the stars of heaven.

            (Abdu'l-Baha, Paris Talks, p. 175)

Sunday, December 08, 2013

The Interesting Discount

I walked into Starbucks on Sunday morning between classes to pick up the free coffee I'd been promised for December for being a member for a whole year. After checking his console, the young man behind the counter apologetically informed me that he couldn't see the 'coupon' on the system.  Well, I thought, the system must have delayed in entering the coupon, as I definitely had a coupon for the month of December.  It was the 'anniversary' month.  Last December, Varya and I got a Starbucks card.  Oh well, I thought, they're not selling me coffee at the full price today!  :-)

I cheerily waved goodbye to the gentleman behind the counter who continued to apologize, and walked to my second preferred coffee place: McDonald's.  Their coffee isn't bad, the price is very reasonable and if you buy even a small breakfast, you get a free refill.  Hey ho, thought I.  I'll just get a coffee and toddle off to class.

I walked up to the counter there and asked the smiling young man behind the counter for a coffee.  He looked puzzled for an instant, then picked up the menu and showed me that if I got a ham muffin and coffee (breakfast combo), it would only cost me RMB 6, whereas a coffee by itself would cost me RMB 8.80.  I first dismissed it and requested a coffee once again.  He again politely suggested that I would save money by getting the breakfast combo of ham muffin and coffee.  I said no again, and he politely acquiesced and entered my order into his machine.  Then it struck me - why was I not taking this?  Instead of offering me a muffin WITH the coffee at a discounted rate, they were actually going to give me cheaper coffee WITH a free refill if I took the ham muffin.  AMAZING!  I changed the order and told the young man that I would take the ham muffin breakfast combo.  He was delighted and changed the order on his machine.  And there I was - a ham muffin AND a coffee for CHEAPER than JUST a coffee.

How on EARTH does that work?  How do they make their money this way?  It's awesome for the consumer - I loved my mid-morning free snack and cheaper coffee, and I wasn't complaining for sure, but I sure was puzzled.

Still puzzled.  No kidding.  But happy and looking forward to next Sunday morning, where I'm going to do the same thing!  :-)  Or maybe I'll do it on Saturday morning this time, and take Tessa with me.  :-)

Saturday, November 23, 2013