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What is “Enlightenment”?

“Strictly speaking there are no enlightened people,
there is only enlightened activity.”
~ Suzuki Roshi
“There is no such thing as
enlightenment,
the realization of that fact is
itself enlightenment.”
~ Nisargadatta Maharaj



Q: What is enlightenment?

A: “Enlightenment” is a word, – an idea with different meanings for different people;
it is a mental concept resulting from thought.
So, the meaning of “enlightenment” is in the mind of the thinker.

Here we call “enlightenment” an evolutionary process, not an ultimate destination.

In evolving toward an “enlightened” destination,
we approach an ever-distant horizon in the Sacred Heart of Humankind.

Q. What are some signs of progress in the enlightenment process?

A. Less and less ego, more and more humility and authenticity;
less and less thought, more and more mental stillness and peace.


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I’ve Found A Faith-Based Life.

“The most beautiful and most profound experience is the sensation of the mystical. …To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists,
manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty
which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their primitive forms
this knowledge, this feeling is at the center of true religiousness.”

~ Albert Einstein – The Merging of Spirit and Science




I’ve Found A Faith-Based Life

My life has become faith-based.

I follow my faith,
but I’m not affiliated
with any organized religion or other belief system.

After many years of questioning,
I’ve found faith beyond belief,
beyond dogmas or theology.

I’ve found faith in everything everywhere,
and in the impenetrable Mystery
beyond every form or phenomenon.

I’ve found faith in my Self and in Nature.

I’ve found the faith to follow my Heart.

Mine is not a blind faith based on fear or doubt,
or on inculcated or adopted ideas of others.

It is an abiding inner knowledge,
flowing from a long life
of reflective personal and trans-personal
experience and observation;

An insight arising from – but transcending – reason,
consistent and harmonious with
the highest welfare and unity of all Life.

My life experience has shown that our universe
is a magnificent, marvelous, miraculous and awe-inspiring “reality”;

That imminent in each life-form and in all manifestation
is an ineffable eternal Awareness:

An Intelligence or Divinity
which is the mysterious matrix,
Essence and Source of our reality.

My life experience has thus
indelibly instilled in me
an abiding faith in that Source*

As a purposeful evolutionary impetus in each of us;

A faith that from that Source
we get what we need when we need it,

Assuring that ultimately everything happens for the best,
to promote our evolution;

A faith that we are inevitably evolving toward
harmonious universal expression of greatest good –

As Peace, Truth, Joy, Love, and Compassion.

With such Faith, I am empowered to follow my Heart,
without worry, fear or doubt;

To accept inevitable and inescapable
life difficulties and uncertainties,
and yet to live openly, spontaneously and authentically.

So, without any religious affiliation,
I’ve become a faithful follower:

I follow my Faith;
I follow the Way;
I follow my Heart.

And this above all,

It is my Faith that enables me to be true to my Self.


Footnote.

*Innumerable names – God, Love, Nature, etc. – may be used to signify that Source or any of its infinite aspects. Or as in the Jewish tradition it may be acknowledged that no name can denominate “That” which is beyond conception or expression – since naming limits the illimitable and ineffable Infinite Reality.



Ron’s audio recitation of I’ve Found A Faith-Based Life

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Harmonic Convergence

“When there is harmony
between the mind, heart and resolution
then nothing is impossible.”
~ Rig Veda


May we harmonize,
together in unity:

Unity in diversity,
not uniformity;

Unity in equality,
not hierarchy;

Unity in integrity,
not conformity.



Ron’s audio recitation of Harmonic Convergence

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Let’s Learn To Be – Memory Free – Now!


“Mind is memory, at whatever level, by whatever name you call it;
mind is the product of the past, it is founded on the past, which is memory, a conditioned state.”
“Truth is not a memory, because truth is ever new, constantly transforming itself. (M)emory is a hindrance to the understanding of what is. The timeless can be only when memory, which is the `me’ and the `mine’, ceases.”
~ J. Krishnamurti



The power of memory
is a great gift.

But the power authentically
to Be –
beyond memory –
is a greater gift.

For memory is then,
while life is
NOW.

So, let’s learn to BE
– Memory Free –

NOW!



Ron’s audio recitation of Let’s Learn To Be – Memory Free – Now

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Quotations About Religion


“If there is love in your heart,
you don’t have to worry about rules.”
~ Sri Dhyanyogi Madhusudandas


Kyaikto, Burma



Quotations About Religion

“My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.”
~ Dalai Lama

“This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.”
~ Dalai Lama

“There is one Cosmic Essence, all-pervading, all-knowing, all-powerful. This nameless formless essence can be approached by any name, any form, any symbol that suites the taste of the individual. Follow your religion, but try to understand the real purpose behind all of the rituals and traditions, and experience that Oneness.”
~ Swami Satchidananda

“Your daily life is your temple and your religion.”
~ Khalil Gibran~ “The Prophet”

“True religion is real living; living with all one’s soul, with all one’s goodness and righteousness.”
~ Albert Einstein

“The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion.  It should transcend a personal God and avoid dogmas and theology.  Covering both the natural and the spiritual, it should be based on a religious sense arising from the experience of all things, natural and spiritual, as a meaningful unity.  ”
~ Albert Einstein

“A religion that takes no account of practical affairs and does not help to solve them is no religion.”
~ Mahatma Gandhi

“This is a time for us to remember that in the name of religion more people have died than in all the wars and natural calamities put together. Now more than ever we must understand that the purpose of religion is not to separate us. True faiths don’t preach hatred and killing, nor did any of the prophets. It is the people who interpret the scriptures who create the divisions. Division comes if we put our ego into the teachings of these religions. Let us strive to be free of that kind of egoism”
~ Swami Satchidananda

Let us accept all the different paths as different rivers running toward the same ocean.
~ Swami Satchidananda

“You are never dedicated to something you have complete confidence in. No one is fanatically shouting that the sun is going to rise tomorrow. They know it is going to rise tomorrow. When people are fanatically dedicated to political or religious faiths or any other kinds of dogmas or goals, it’s always because these dogmas or goals are in doubt.”
~ Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

“Orthodoxy means not thinking—not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.”
~ George Orwell, 1984

“Irrevocable commitment to any one religion is not only intellectual suicide;
it is positive unfaith because it closes the mind to any new vision of the world.
Faith is, above all, open-ness—an act of trust in the unknown.”
~ Alan Watts

“. . Truth is a pathless land, and you cannot approach it by any path whatsoever, by any religion, by any sect.”
~ J. Krishnamurti

“The constant assertion of belief is an indication of fear.”
~ J. Krishnamurti

“Religion is confining and imprisoning and toxic because it is based on ideology and dogma. But spirituality is redeeming and universal.”
~ Deepak Chopra

“In religion and politics people’s beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second-hand, and without examination, from authorities who have not themselves examined the questions at issue but have taken them at second-hand from other non-examiners, whose opinions about them were not worth a brass farthing.”
~ Mark Twain – Autobiography, 1959

At least two thirds of our miseries spring from human stupidity, human malice and those great motivators and justifiers of malice and stupidity, idealism, dogmatism and proselytizing zeal on behalf of religious or political idols.”
~ Aldous Huxley

“Not Christian or Jew or Muslim,
 not Hindu, Buddhist, Sufi or Zen.
 Not any religion, or cultural system.
 I am not from the East or the West,
 nor out of the ocean or up 
from the ground, not natural or ethereal,
 not composed of elements at all. 
I do not exist, am not an entity in this world
 or the next, 
did not descend from Adam and Eve 
or any origin story.
 My place is placeless, a trace of the traceless.
 Neither body nor soul. 
I belong to the beloved
 have seen the two worlds as one 
and that one call to and know,
 First, last, outer, inner, only that 
breath breathing human.”
~ Jalaluddin Rumi, ‘Only Breath’

“There is only one God, the same God regardless of the labels applied by religion. …
There is only one religion, the religion of Love;
There is only one language, the language of the Heart;
There is only one caste, the caste of Humanity”
~ Sathya Sai Baba

“I consider myself a Hindu, Christian, Muslim, Jew, Buddhist, and Confucian.”
~ Mahatma Gandhi

“Wherever I look, I see men quarrelling in the name of religion — Hindus, Mohammendans, Brahmos, Vaishnavas, and the rest. But they never reflect that He who is called Krishna is also called Siva, and bears the name of the Primal Energy, Jesus, and Allah as well — the same Rama with a thousand names. A lake has several ghats. At one the Hindus take water in pitchers and call it ‘jal’; at another the Mussalmans take water in leather bags and call it ‘pani’. At a third the Christians call it ‘water’. Can we imagine that it is not ‘jal’, but only ‘pani’ or ‘water’? How ridiculous! The substance is One under different names, and everyone is seeking the same substance; only climate, temperament, and name create differences. Let each man follow his own path. If he sincerely and ardently wishes to know God, peace be unto him! He will surely realize Him.”
~ Sri Ramakrishna, The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna

“People often ask me, “What religion are you? You talk about the Bible, Koran, Torah. Are you a Hindu?” I say, I am not a Catholic, a Buddhist, or a Hindu, but an Undo. My religion is Undoism. We have done enough damage (with religious dogma). We have to stop doing any more and simply undo the damage we have already done.”
~ Swami Satchidananda – Beyond Words:

Imagine there’s no Heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

You may say that I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world

You may say that I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one
~ John Lennon, “Imagine”

“Among all my patients in the second half of life … there has not been one whose problem in the last resort was not that of finding a religious outlook on life.”
~ Carl Jung

 



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Surrender ~ Quotes and Sayings


We have nothing to surrender
But the idea
That we’re someone,
With something
To surrender.
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings




“Surrender is faith that the power of Love can accomplish anything
even when you cannot foresee the outcome.”
~ Deepak Chopra

“Setting aside all noble deeds, just surrender completely to the will of God.
I shall liberate you from all sins. Do not grieve.”
~ Bhagavad Gita

“Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me;
nevertheless not My will, but Thy will, be done.”
~ Luke 22:42.

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
~ Proverbs 3:5-6

“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.”
~ Lao Tzu

“By letting it go it all gets done.
The world is won by those who let it go.
But when you try and try, the world is beyond the winning.”
~ Lao Tzu

“They are the chosen ones who have surrendered.”
~ Rumi

“How did you get here? Close your eyes and surrender.”
~ Rumi

“The hurt that we embrace becomes joy.” …..
“Roar, Lion of the Heart, and tear me open!“
~ Rumi

“The greatness of a man’s power is the measure of his surrender.”
~ William Booth

“The creative process is a process of surrender, not control.”
~ Julia Cameron

“To hold, you must first open your hand. Let go”.
~ Lao Tzu

“He knows what He is doing with me.
I cannot always understand His way,
but I am content in the realization that He knows what is best.
That is surrender.”
~ Daya Mata

“Knowledge is learning something every day.
Wisdom is letting go of something every day.”
~ Zen Proverb



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The Emotion Of Devotion – Crying For God – Quotations


“There is no liquid like a tear from a lover’s eye.”
~ Rumi

Tears are the solution
for dissolution
of other
into Mother –
Mother of All,
Mother of Mystery.
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings


Sri Anandamayi Ma

 

Ron’s Introduction.

I can’t recall crying in my entire adult life, until a mid-life spiritual awakening at age forty three. Then, upon a profound Self identity realization, I cried for twenty four hours. And ever since I have often spontaneously shed profuse tears.

Soon after my awakening, I realized that I was crying for God, with intense longing. (See Beholding The Eternal Light Of Consciousness.) Then after meeting my beloved Guru, Shri Dhyanyogi Madhusudandas, I gradually learned that I had been immensely blessed to follow the spiritual path of Divine devotion – the path of Love. And that my continual longing and crying for God was an extraordinary blessing recognized in all devotional paths and known in Hinduism as Bhakti, and in Christianity as “the gift of tears”.

I intend writing more memoirs about my experiences with “the gift of tears”. Until then, I offer the following teachings and quotations from spiritual masters and texts, which may help acquaint you with that path.

Quotations on Crying For God.


“There comes a holy and transparent time
when every touch of beauty 
opens the heart to tears.
This is the time the Beloved of heaven 
is brought tenderly on earth.
This is the time of the opening of the Rose.”
~ Rumi

“Jesus wept.”
~ John 11:35

“The soul would have no rainbow if the eye had no tears.”
~ Native American proverb

What soap is for the body, tears are for the soul.
~Jewish Proverb

“There is a palace that opens only to tears.”
~ Zohar (source of Kabbalah)

“They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.”
~ Psalms 126:5

“Weeping may endure for the night,
but joy cometh in the morning”
~ Psalms 30:5

“Man is like an onion.
When you peel away the layers,
all that is left is tears.”
~ Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav, Hasidic master

“The fruits of the inner man begin only with the shedding of tears.
When you reach the place of tears, then know that your spirit has come out from the prison of this world and has set its foot upon the path that leads towards the new age.”
~ Saint Isaac of Nineveh

“Do you want deliverance from the bonds of the world?
Then weeping profusely, you will have to cry out from the bottom of your heart:
Deliver me, Great Mother of the World, deliver me!…. When by the flood of your tears the inner and outer have fused into one, you will find her whom you sought with such anguish, nearer than the nearest, the very breath of life, the very core of every heart….”
~ Anandamayi Ma

Q. “Under what conditions does one see God?”
A. “Cry to the Lord with an intensely yearning heart and you will certainly see Him. People shed a whole jug of tears for wife and children. They swim in tears for money. But who weeps for God? Cry to Him with a real cry.”
~ Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa

“When the child refuses to be comforted by anything except the mother’s presence, she comes. If you want to know God, you must be like the naughty baby who cries till the mother comes.”
~ Paramahansa Yogananda

“Crying to God for five minutes is equal to one hour of meditation.”
“The state that we attain by calling and crying to God is equal to the bliss that the yogi experiences in samadhi.”
~ Mata Amritanandamayi  (Ammachi)

“He who loves me is made pure; his heart melts in joy. He rises to
transcendental consciousness by the rousing of his higher emotional
nature. Tears of joy flow from his eyes, his hair stands on end, his heart
melts in love. The bliss in that state is so intense that, forgetful of
himself and his surroundings, he sometimes weeps profusely, or laughs, or
sings, or dances; such a devotee is a purifying influence upon the whole
universe.”
~ Srimad Bhagavatam 11.8 (Lord Krishna to His disciple Uddhave)

“As a [thirsty] hart* longs for flowing streams,
so longs my soul for thee, O God.
My soul thirsts for God,
for the living God.
When shall I come and behold
the face of God?
My tears have been my food
day and night.
~ Psalm 42.1-3

*The word ‘hart’ is an old alternative for “stag” (male deer”).

“You know, if you weep before the Lord, your tears wipe out the mind’s impurities of many births, and his grace immediately descends upon you. It is good to weep before the Lord.”
~ Sri Ramakrishna (to Sivananda)

“When, hearing the name of Hari or Rama once,
you shed tears and your hair stands on end,
then you may know for certain that you do not
have to perform such devotions as the sandhya any more.
Then only will you have a right to renounce rituals;
or rather, rituals will drop away of themselves.”
~ Sri Ramakrishna

‘Where does the strength of an aspirant lie? It is in his tears. As a mother gives her consent to fulfill the desire of her importunately weeping child, so God vouchsafes to His weeping son whatever he is crying for”
~ Sri Ramakrishna

“Devotional practices are necessary only so long as tears of ecstasy do not flow at hearing the name of Hari. He needs no devotional practices whose heart is moved to tears at the mere mention of the name of Hari.”
~ Sri Ramakrishna

“The waves belong to the Ganges, not the Ganges to the waves. A man cannot realize God unless he gets rid of all such egotistic ideas as ‘I am such an important man’ or ‘I am so and so’. Level the mound of ‘I’ to the ground by dissolving it with tears of devotion.”
~ Sri Ramakrishna

“Even avatars have to desire to be in God in every moment. And when avatars die, they desire with all their being to be united with God. ….. Look at Ramakrishna.
How much he wept and prayed for the Divine Mother.”
~ Mother Meera to Andrew Harvey, “Hidden Journey”, Page 236

 

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Think Before You Speak

“All that we are is the result of what we have thought:
it is founded on our thoughts, it is made up of our thoughts.
If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him,
as the wheel follows the foot of the ox that draws the carriage.”
~ Buddha
“A man is but the product of his thoughts; what he thinks, he becomes.”
~ Gandhi
“Nothing’s either good or bad,
 but thinking makes it so.”
~ Shakespeare


This world is wrought 
with naught but thought.
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings



Think Before You Speak:

The thought manifests as the word.
The word manifests as the deed.
The deed develops into the habit.
The habit hardens into the character.
The character gives birth to the destiny.

So, watch your thoughts with care
And let them spring from love
Born out of respect for all beings.

~ The Buddha, as paraphrased by Mahagosananda


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How Can We Think More Objectively?

“We are formed and molded by our thoughts.
Those whose minds are shaped by selfless thoughts
give joy when they speak or act.
Joy follows them like a shadow that never leaves them.”
~ Buddha
“Those who know how to think need no teachers.”
~  Mahatma Gandhi



Q. How can we think more objectively?

A. We can’t.

Thinking objectively is an oxymoronic illusion.
Thought is subjective; so everyone thinks subjectively.

To transcend thinking in the ‘subject-object’ box,
we can intuit our wholeness – as both subject and object.

Thus realizing that the essence of one is the essence of all,
we can more and more think holistically, compassionately and authentically.

So, think less, and intuit more;

Think with your Heart, not your head.



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Spiritual Paths

“What is the path?”
“Everyday life is the path.”
~ Zen Master Nansen
“Truth is a pathless land,
and you cannot approach it by any path whatsoever,
by any religion, by any sect.”
~ Jiddu Krishnamurti
“The spiritual path –
is simply the journey of living our lives.
Everyone is on a spiritual path;
most people just don’t know it.”
~ Marianne Williamson





Spiritual Paths

There are as many spiritual paths as people.

Each person is unique,
with unique evolutionary challenges
arising from unique karmic causes.

To find and follow your spiritual path –

Look within.

And find and follow your Heart.



Ron’s audio recitation of Spiritual Paths

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