Sunday, July 8, 2012, Part II

Here are notes from July 2, last week’s class. The sutra for the evening was:

III, 4
Concentration, absorption, and integration regarding a single object
compose the perfect discipline of consciousness.
For as long as Monday Night Class has gathered in Princeton, which is well over ten years now, we’ve chanted the mantra Om Namah Shivaya as a vehicle for meditation. In the spirit of this sutra however, I thought it would be interesting to work with the mantra, less as a vehicle, more as that single object Patanjali is referring to. For a group of chanting  bhaktas, this is a more difficult practice. And in that way I think, very fruitful.
Here’s my dharma talk for this class:
 And here are the parallel readings. The first is from Thomas Byrom’s gorgeous translation of the Ashtavakra Gita, a text that pulsates with the life force of samadhi:

You are pure.
Nothing touches you.
What is there to renounce?
Let it all go,
The body and the mind.
Let yourself dissolve.

Like bubbles in the sea,
All the worlds arise in you.
Know you are the Self.
Know you are one.
Let yourself dissolve.

You see the world.
But like the snake in the rope,
It is not really there.
You are pure.
Let yourself dissolve.

You are one and the same
In joy and sorrow,
Hope and despair,
Life and death.
You are already fulfilled.
Let yourself dissolve.

And as often happens, I give the final word to Mary Oliver, whose poetry pulsates with the life force of waking up:

The Poet is Told to Fill Up More Pages
Mary Oliver

But, where are the words?
Not in my pocket.
Not in the refrigerator.
Not in my savings account.
So I sit, harassed, with my notebook.
It’s a joke, really, and not a good one.
For fun I try a few commands myself.
I say to the rain, stop raining.
I say to the sun, that isn’t anywhere nearby,
Come back, and come fast.

Nothing happens.
So this is all I can give you,
not being the maker of what I do,
but only the one that holds the pencil.

Make of it what you will.

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