From the Chapter of the Self

Part 1:           The Chapter of the Self In one of the old law books of India which is dated about 300 B.C. there is a chapter on the Self – on realisation of the Self.  Shri Shankara, the great Yogic philosopher and commentator, selected this chapter and made a commentary on it.  He says it appears in the law book because, although the law books are designed to uphold dharma (the law of righteousness) and to uphold the world order whereas realisation of the Self is to transcend the world order, still they have in common that the yogas of the Self are the best way for a man to attenuate the defects of character. Some of the verses are these: “Let a man practice realisation of the yogas of the Self, the Adhyatma yogas, which confirm to truth and pacify the mind.  There is no higher goal than attainment …

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Gita inspiration

Trevor Leggett: Well, this is a path not in the ordinary sense, because in the ordinary sense, a journey is me as I am going to some o’ther place and arriving as I am, but in another place. The place is not moved. The ‘I itself changes. It’s like the path from childhood to adulthood, or it’s like a path from not realizing something to coming to realize something. Change is inwardly. In the book Training the Mind through Yoga, which is the one on which we have these talks based, this phrase is often used. One can be in the kindergarten stage, but very small children in imprisonment don’t feel it confining. Provided things aren’t too bad, the prison area is big enough for them. The wall is not something that holds you back, it’s something to bounce a ball against or to shelter from the wind. They don’t …

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Categories TPL

Fingers and Moons 25.8.1984

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/FingersandMoons.mp3   This isn’t a formal lecture at all, it’s just like a few pebbles thrown at a window to wake someone up who’s sleeping inside. If they don’t wake up, you throw some more. It’s in the hope that one or two will wake one or two people up, temporarily at least, as some of them have woken me up, temporarily at least, that I pass on some of them. It’s called Fingers and Moons, and this relates to a phrase, the finger pointing to the moon. This is generally illustrated by a finger pointing to a full moon, which everyone can see. It’s rather pointless. Really it arose from seeing the new moon. As an example, there was a fasting austerity in India called the ant body. An ant’s body, as you know, begins big like that and comes down very thin and gets bigger again. Well, you …

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Cherry blossoms

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Cherryblossoms.mp3   On the subject of the tree, the root, the Chinese character for tree shows the root. If we’re asked to draw a tree, we just draw the trunk and the foliage, that’s a tree, but to Chinese, that’s not a tree at all. There’s at least as much below the ground as there is above the ground. That which is below the ground is as important or more important than what’s above the ground. That is the whole tree. Now, one of the illustrations given, which is quite an important one for people who are doing practice is of the cherry tree. The cherry tree flowers just for two or three weeks, once a year, and the Japanese cherry, it doesn’t have fruit or much in the way of fragrance, but it blossoms very beautifully. Then their blossoms don’t rot on the branch, but when they’re still in …

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Fingers are the methods

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Fingersarethemethods.mp3   After six months that young judo man will meet what are called in the judo circles, by various uncomplimentary names, but the most acceptable is the old soldiers. He meets a chap who’s been there, he says to him, “Look, I’ve been here 14 years.” He’s grade is not very high, but he’s quite impressive with his reminiscences of the past. He says, “You know, they don’t expect you to do it. They tell you this because it’ll get you to do something, you see, but they don’t really expect you to bring off that throw. After a hundred thousand or a hundred million repetitions. You can’t do it unless you’ve been born in Japan and brought up there. You can’t do that, no, but keep on trying, you’ll get a bit better, but don’t expect that you’re going to pull it off.” He’s only about 18 and …

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Imitations do not lead to anything

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Imitationsdonotleadtoanything.mp3   We can imitate things, we can imitate pointing fingers, we can imitate spiritual attitudes, which are supposed to lead to progress, but those imitations don’t lead to anything, they’re like putting rings on the fingers. Again, the pointing finger should be studied carefully, but if it becomes an end in itself, then the practice will drop. As an example, this is an Indian story, that two brothers, it’s a Hindu story, but it contains rather a good lesson. Two brothers who used to worship every day. One used to use many vessels of gold and silver to do this ceremony, very elaborately. There are such ceremonies in Buddhism, too. It used to take him about an hour. He did it with great devotion, sincerity, everything was precise, absolutely accurate and he did all of that. His brother never did anything like that, he didn’t even have a fixed …

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The trees on Mount Ibuka

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/ThetreesonMountIbuka+.mp3   There’s a poem which I will just tell you and it applies to these fixed successful attitudes in life, and it’s used in all the training schools in Japan. There’s a particular mountain, the trees and the bushes are or were so thick that nothing could get through at all. I will say it was Mount Ibuka I think was the name. Now the poem is this: The trees on Mount Ibuka Are not so thick That from time to time A ray of moonlight Cannot pierce through the branches. Nothing solid can come through but there is a ray of clear awareness which can come through. All our cultivated habits of thought and will, will fail in certain circumstances, but the clear awareness will be able to penetrate through any obstacle. The Buddha nature, where is it? It doesn’t seem to be anywhere. It’s something which we …

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Collected Stories 22-8-1984

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Collectedstories22.8.1984.mp3   These are just short pieces. It’s not meant to be a connected talk. If one of them helps to wake somebody up, they will have fulfilled their purpose. If it doesn’t wake anyone up, anyway some of them have woken me up, so there’ll be some advantage in it. (Laughter) The Chinese Buddhist scriptures form an enormous bookcase, which is often in the form of a drum, a revolving drum. You can’t be expected to read them, of course, but from the drum, which is on a pivot, the spokes, so if you take one of the spokes and push it round, which I’ve done, you practically know the scriptures if you’ve just made them revolve. A man was looking at this at the great temple of Narita, and he said to one of the priests there, “The beliefs of you Buddhists are thinner than paper because it’s …

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Egoism or Pride

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/EgoismorPride+.mp3   Two women disciples used to go every week together to a woman teacher for whom they had a great respect. They noticed that at the end of the interview she generally said something about egoism and pride, just a few words. One day, coming away, one of them said to the other, “You know, extraordinary she always says that.” The other one said, “I take it and I examine myself afterwards. I generally find something in the way of egoism or pride, and I try to make some alteration.” The first one said, “Well, of course, you must speak for yourself. I have nothing to say about that, but me now, I do all that work for the temple. I never ask for any thanks for it. Don’t get any, either. I never call attention to it, don’t show myself off. I’m famous for keeping in the background. …

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Christianity was put down in Japan

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/ChristianitywasputdowninJapan.mp3   Christianity was put down in Japan, for political reasons, in the 17th century. The Philippines had been invaded. There was a fifth column of Christians, and the Philippines were invaded by Spain. The Japanese thought it would happen to them. They put down Christianity ruthlessly, but in certain of the remoter areas there were what were called ‘hidden Christians’, and they had tremendous heroism and courage. The missionaries had all been killed or expelled, but the hidden Christians kept up certain formulae they could recite, and they had certain secret signs. For instance, the bottom of a teacup, if you turned it over, there would be a cross. Normally, nobody would turn a teacup over, but they could recognise each other in various ways – tremendously brave, for 200 years. Then Japan was opened up, and the missionaries then gradually came to hear. The new missionaries heard of …

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Fifty-two stages of Buddhism

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/FiftytwostagesofBuddhism.mp3   The story is that a man became… He drank too much, and he began to see these snakes, so he had to go into hospital. He was taken off alcohol entirely and brought around, and he ceased seeing the wriggling things. He went back to playing golf with his friends, and on one hole, which was near a wood, he was standing on the green, holding the pin, and a grass snake came out of the wood, went across the green and then went back into the wood again. He turned deathly pale, and then he said, “I know you all think I saw a snake there, but I didn’t.” (Laughter) These kinds of negations, too, they’re imitative. There’s no truth in them, but it’s quite easy to say the things we feel we’re expected to say. Then there are people who think, “No, I don’t want forms. …

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You are caught in technique

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Youarecaughtintechnique.mp3   However expert you are in the technique, you’re caught in it. This is very important. This is where the judo technique begins to shade into the Zen background. It’s a fractional application of Zen. You may become expert in technique, but there has got to be something beyond the technique. You may master a particular technique. Then you try to force it, but, if your technique is this size and the opportunity says, “A triangle,” and you’re trying to force something round into a triangle, it’s quite difficult. You have to be able to adapt. You think, “No, this is my strong… This is what I’m going to do. This is my strong point. I’ve spent years mastering this.” Very often, you can force it, but it’s not the true way. In the same way in life, we perfect certain techniques, and we rely on those, and we …

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I have nothing

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Ihavenothing.mp3   The Rōshi spoke about Dōgen going to China. Generally, when they went to China, they came back with some of these rolls and scrolls. There’s this huge library of them. Or they brought back relics of the founder. He says, “He came back” – Dōgen came back – “Empty-handed, with nothing in his hand.” He went, after actually no contact with the rulers of Japan. He went to a very remote and extremely cold place and founded his monastery there, in complete isolation: nothing. He brought back nothing, but he founded this great Zen sect, which today is enormously powerful and influential. He brought back nothing. We had this tradition, too. The temple built by Herod the Great was covered with gold plate, but at the centre, in the Holy of Holies, there was nothing. The room was empty. The Roman general Titus, when they captured Jerusalem in …

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Advance in emptiness

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Advanceinemptiness.mp3   I’ll give one more example from judo. We have an endurance sort of test for advanced people who want to train. Sometimes, there are 50 or 60 of them, and they haul… They go round the floor on their faces, just hauling themselves along like this. It’s very, very tiring. The thing is to go to the limit of endurance. While people are going, “Oh, God,” they’re not really tired. If they’ve got the energy to go, “Oh” like that, they’ve got extra energy, (Laughter) but sometimes you see some quiet fellow. He’s going along and he suddenly turns pale. The teacher, they think, is an absolute brute, but, as a matter of fact, he watches very carefully. But you can’t, in such a case, say to him, “Now you are at the limit. You take a rest,” because it’s a very, very delicate thing. If one man …

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Yoga, Zen and Peace

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/YogaZenand+Peace.mp3   ‘Yuktah’ is from ‘Yoga’, and the sense of yoga is to yoke, to rein in, to hold in. Yoga is also an ordinary Sanskrit word for a method. So, it’s not a theoretical thing; it’s a method for reining in the mind and focusing it, and then from that inspiration arises. When inspiration arises, those meditations will have what is called efficient force, bhavana, causing things to become, and when the meditations reach that point, then there can be peace within and that begins to affect the peace without. Peace without, depends on peace within. One teacher remarked, “You know, if you got all the wealth in the world and you spread out it out evenly over everyone, as though you were spreading butter on a huge slice of bread so that everyone got an absolutely fair share, within 25 years the inequalities would be greater than they …

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Ethics and the Cosmic Self

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/EthicsandtheCosmicSelf.mp3   One wants to know, surely, in these modern days, if we can do good without any of these cosmological beliefs? We can use our reason [can’t we?]. Russell consistently and through a very long life in which he changed his mind on a great many subjects, held the view of ethics that it should be what you should do, what will lead to the benefit of the human race. Now, in the debate that he had in 1948 – the radio debate with Copleston – a very important event against the Jesuit, the Jesuit posed him this question: he said, “The tortures that were inflicted at Buchenwald, for instance, now, could you ever approve of that?” The torturers weren’t all brutal men. Some of them might say, well, we are conducting scientific experiments and Russell’s reply was: “I cannot imagine any circumstances in which those sort of things, …

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Desires beyond our needs are ghosts

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Desiresbeyondourneedsareghosts.mp3   This, then, is the first point in the Yoga theory: that you cannot explain this world satisfactorily nor control one’s conduct satisfactorily without meditation on and a partial realisation of the cosmic purpose, and the cosmic Self, the cosmic soul. Now, we can say well how then is one going to live? What is life for?  Shankara divides carefully. There are needs and there are what you might call wants. You notice in Russell’s philosophy he bitterly confuses the two, but in the Indian philosophy, of which Shankara is not the only representive, they’re sharply distinguished. The need is something like supporting the physical body. That would be food, security, shelter and the second category is to have the property which enables you to fulfil a role in life – so much. Now, outside that – those are needs – people must have physical support and the mental …

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Gifts, sacrifice and austerity

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Giftssacrificeandausterity.mp3   For our conduct in life, the teacher says: dhana, there must be gift. Yajna, there must be sacrifrice. It must lead to tapas, austerity. Those three: gift – the three gifts – the gift of material things and you give it and then after a short time things are as they were before; it’s gone. The second gift is the gift of courage and that can remain. That’s a real gift and the last gift is the gift of wisdom. So, there are these three gifts. We try in our lives, in our international conduct especially to give material things, but as we know quite often the gift of material things can even make things worse. In one country where it’s known that they have very rich mineral resources a very clever politician was asked about this: “Surely the country should exploit these mineral resources”. He said, “Yes, …

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Becoming free

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Becomingfree.mp3   In the Middle Ages in Britain the church was the only way in which a peasant boy could rise and at one of the big synods in the 14th century they kept a record of the origins of the bishops – I think it was about 60 or 70 of them –  and more than half of them were of peasant origin. Well, that must be good, otherwise that intelligence and that ability would have been simply locked into the soil and lost. It must be good and the church is doing a great thing there. It was not as it was in some countries: mainly the preserve of the aristocracy but it was open to the peasant who had this Christian call, to rise. Splendid! But what actually happened in quite a lot of cases was that a bright and ambitious peasant boy saw that his only …

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The job of the King

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/ThejoboftheKing.mp3   The discipline of Zen comes from India originally. There are quite considerable differences between the Yoga I’ve been presenting to you, the Yoga of the Gita, which was the Yoga of kings and people had active responsibility in the world to protect communities. This was the job of the king. He was the hardest working man in the kingdom. According to Manu, he had only three hours allowed him for sleep every night and there was no sinecure of the job. The Karma Yoga of Shankara is for kings, those who have responsibility, those who are engaged in organisation, those who engage in agriculture and those who want to do service in their lives. It’s quite wrong to suppose that the castes, the so-called castes – it’s a Portugese word, it’s not a Sanskrit word at all – in the Gita were originally hereditary. The Gita said nothing …

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Seeking for realisation in Yoga and Zen

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/SeekingforrealisationinYogaandZen.mp3   The Indian tradition never launched invasions outside India. They didn’t have this mania for conquest of the world. The kingdoms within India before it was unified, under Ashoka, did fight so their job was to be active, have responsibility and they had to practice generosity, especially, sacrifice and tapas, this austerity. Then when there’s a glimpse of realisation of the cosmic Lord, whom they all have to worship, they have to do their actions in worship of the Lord to try to come into touch with this cosmic flow. When they do that and they have a flash of this cosmic intuition then they may become monks. The monks give up all human rights. They’re pacifists and most of the traditions were wandering traditions in India, but monasteries were established from the time of the Buddha, the Buddhist order, the Jains established monasteries and so did the followers …

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The way of praying in the cosmic current

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Thewayofprayinginthecosmiccurrent.mp3   Hakuin, one of the greatest Japanese Zen masters, met an old lady who belonged to the devotional school – there’s a Buddha in the Western Heaven and if you pray to him regularly you will be born in the Western Heaven and from there it will be very easy to attain nirvana by the grace of this great Buddha. Hakuin was walking along and he passed an old lady and he said, “Well, Grannie, off to the Western Paradise, are you?” Then he said, “The Buddha is there waiting for you, isn’t he, I suppose?”  And she went, [nodding head in negation]. He said, “What? Buddha’s not in his Western Paradise? Where is he then?” She went on, [pointing to her heart?]. He turned round and he bowed. He said, “You’re a real Pure-Lander – the Buddha’s Pure Land in the West – you’re a real denizen, you’re …

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Melting Ice

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/MeltingIce.mp3   Now, one of the things the Zen people say is that most of us are like ice. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried, if you want to load [a container] – say you’re going on a journey, or picking up something, where there isn’t going to be any water – you have to put the water in a container. Quite often they freeze it first but these blocks are often not frozen and they’re not, sort of, square. When they go in, you don’t get very many of them in, because they’ve all got these angles and, so, you get a lot of space between the different blocks, you see. Generally, you have to melt it a bit. Then, when it’s liquid, you can fill the thing. Now, life is like that, it’s said. If we’ve got these angles of, “Why the hell should I? Why should …

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No distinction

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Nodistinction.mp3   [They say] one of the advantages of a monk, and this is so in India and in the Far East, generally, is that he visibly shows that he hasn’t got possessions, and this can be a help to us when we’re absorbed and obsessed and caught in our possessions. To give one example. You get monsoon in India and in the rainy season in Japan, too, it can come down like a wall and you can suddenly get caught in it. When that happens, you rush – if you haven’t got an umbrella, and, perhaps, you haven’t – you rush to the nearest house and you crouch under the eaves there, but, of course, the rain comes down the eaves. Anyway you’re sopping, whatever you’re doing, and muttering. Well, then, I remember seeing a monk, he was walking down the middle of the road, as if he was …

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Meditation 1.8.86

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Meditation1.8.86.mp3   Patanjali, in his commentary deals with the Gunas at length. As you know, there are three Gunas in the Vedanta and the Yoga philosophy which consist of Tamas, which is the Guna of darkness, inertia, and a sort of confusion. The River Thames is the River Tamēssa. It comes actually from that word, Tamas, dark, it’s a dark river. Then Rajas, which comes originally from a word meaning red, to redden and it may be connected with our word rage. It stands for passion and struggle. A man of Tamas is a man of inertia, he just wants somehow to survive. He doesn’t so much meet the shock of life as try somehow to take refuge, get by. A man of Rajas throws himself into the battle of life with enthusiasm and joy, but his every action is for his personal advantage or the advantage of his family …

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Patanjali and Sattwa

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/PatanjaliandSattwa.mp3   In the Yoga system of Patanjali, the Guna to be cultivated is Sattva, and Rajas, and Tamas have to be controlled. I’ll give one or two examples. The Indian princes, they are men of Rajas, of tremendous courage, or they were. They used to send their sons to a British school in India, a school for princes, which was run by a British headmaster. One of the things they admired and said that they admired about the British system then was that there was a capacity to rise above into Sattva. Our sense of humor is a manifestation of Sattva. We can rise above the humiliation. Rise above the anger and laugh. Oscar Wilde, what would have been one of his plays, was total flop. He was asked afterwards, it must have been a very bitter experience for him, “How did the play go?” He said, “Oh, the …

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Transform Tamas and Rajas into Sattva

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/TransformTamasandRajastoSattva.mp3   The man of Tamas, this is a very, very acute psychological observation. The firmness of the man of Tamas is the firmness with which he holds firmly to grief, pain, despair, and laziness. At first, we think, “What? Holds firmly to pain and grief?” Then we come to see that it’s true. People hold to their pain and suffering. The neurotic, as Freud says holds to the neurosis. “No one can help me. It always goes wrong. It’s no good. No good. I’ve tried before, it won’t work.” He’s holding firmly to pain. The man of Rajas comes up and says, “I’m going to help you if it kills both of us.” [laughter] The man of Tamas says, “No one can help me.” The man of Sattva sees both clearly. He is able to help in the way in which it will be effective. These are the three …

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Do not think in long waves

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Donotthinkinlongwaves.mp3   My teacher used to give examples from modern life, sometimes examples from science, and he recommended his pupils to study science as an aid to clear thinking. Science and logic, philosophy, and to study the arts as an aid to clear feeling. One of the things he said was this, “Don’t think in long waves. Think in short waves.” Now this refers to the radio tuner, the long waves in radio, they travel near the surface of the earth and they don’t go far. Radio waves travel like light in straight lines and the long waves keep to the earth. When Marconi got going on the short waves, he surprised the scientists at the time by saying that the short waves could travel long distances, but that was obviously ridiculous, it was known they went in straight lines. The curvature of the earth would mean that the short …

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Intense karma fructifies quickly

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Intensekarmafructifiesquickly.mp3   No amount of light is going to get through the iron walls. Well, we now know that that’s not so. If the crests are all brought together here so that they beat together, that’s the laser and that can burn through a thick iron plate in a minute. The Samādhi state when the new thought identical, not like, but identical all the time, can affect our karma very powerfully and so, affect the outer state as well as the interstate. This is what makes Sankara says, “Intense karma, which fructifies very quickly.” Normally he says in his Patanjali commentary, “Karma will fructify in the next life, but intense karma, which is done with devotion, with mantra, and with Samadhi, the Samadhi state will fructify quickly in this life, or by devotion to God, if there is Samadhi on God, then too, there will be a quick fructification of …

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Patanjali and meditation on God

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/PatanjaliandmeditationontheLord.mp3   He (Patanjali) says that anyone who practices meditation seriously on the Lord, some of these powers will occasionally come and they will speak. When they come, they may be used, but they must not be held onto. They must be given up because they came from the Lord and they go back to the Lord. He makes a great point of this. He says people will be tempted. People who practice meditation sincerely will be tempted with power, prestige, fame, and brilliance of various kinds. They must be able to find out what is really important, and not these personal glories, as he calls them like that girl who was saying, “I’m going to give my whole life to following you and helping the people here and joining with you.” There’s the technique of living, changing our ordinary passion, Rajas, and our inertia, Tamas into Sattva of clear-sightedness, …

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Meditation 2

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Meditation2+.mp3   Our teacher often began these lectures by recommending that we should make our mind one-pointed. The Gita says many-branched and endless are the thoughts of the irresolute. The yogi must make his mind one-pointed.  One of the means of doing this is to touch the point between the eyebrows, put the fingernail on there, pinch and then use the after-sensation to bring your mind to this one point.  So throwing away, as he said, the minister of the exterior (the external thought, thoughts of the exterior) and the minister of the interior (thoughts about the interior mental life) – throwing them both away, bringing the thought and the attention to this one point.  Now, if you would like to try for three minutes, I will say the ‘Om’, and if you would like just to touch here, or if you don’t need it, just bring the attention here.  Om. …

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An example of spiritual inspiration

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Anexampleofspiritualinspiration.mp3 (… continued from ‘Meditation 2’) The last form of force is ‘inspired force’.  Our teacher gave the example of the Manchu emperor, K’ang Hsi, who was confronted (as had his predecessors) with the Mongols.  They were still furiously aggressive – although they couldn’t easily get together, as they were constantly quarrelling among themselves.  He introduced Buddhism there by building monasteries for really learned and pious monks.  They converted the Mongols to Buddhism, and the Buddhist tradition in Mongolia was very strong. It ended with the last – the living Buddha – whom our teacher, in fact, made a pilgrimage to go to see. We say, “Well, what would be an example of spiritual inspiration, spiritual force in our own day?”  In one of the not very advanced states in India, near the beginning of the century, they wanted to introduce cholera injections, but the conservatives vigorously opposed this. “We have …

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King Ashwapati

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Prajapati.mp3 (… continued from ‘An example of spiritual inspiration’) Sit reasonably upright, in a balanced position. Take a long breath in, not unreasonably long, and feel that there is a current coming in with the breath, at the navel point, coming up to this point between the eyebrows we concentrated on before. The breath doesn’t actually come up, but there is a current, and by feeling with the breath, we can most easily come to feel that.  If you would like to try – touch the navel.  Now take an inbreath and feel that the breath is coming up like a column at the centre of the body up to this point at the end of the full breath.  There is no visualisation as the breath is released easily.  We do this for twenty-one in this way. If you get out of breath, just stop for a moment and breathe …

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The New English Bible

All over the world, early impressions of religion are often associated with unbearable tedium. In the West, the eye following the long lines of Gothic arches, or trying to make out the detail of stained-glass windows, while the priest intones incomprehensible texts; in the Far East, having to sit still for long periods, looking at the faces of the Buddha images and wondering whether they too get bored, while the resonant Sanskrit and Chinese syllables boom on hypnotically; in India, Sanskrit again, slightly relieved by the clanging of bells at the light ceremony; in the Middle East, the gaze tracing never-ending Arabesque ornamentation in the mosque while the half-understood Arabic drones away. Nearly everyone agrees that the actual language of the original religious texts is hopelessly obscure to modern hearers, and that one’s real idea of the religion is based on simplified teachings given at special meetings for children, in …

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The Power of the Mind

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Powerofthemind.mp3   This talk is on the power of the mind. The mind is supposed to have limitations, but if we study history, as our teacher always recommended, we find that those limitations have been accepted in quite different places in very different ways over long periods. For instance, the great builders of the cathedrals in Europe, from Notre Dame, made each one a little bit higher than the last cathedral, up to Beauvais, which was so high that it fell down. They were master builders but they couldn’t calculate more than five times five in their heads. That was thought to be quite impossible. Even accountants used to have on the walls of their offices, the tables above five times five, six times six, six times seven, six times eight, etc.. It all had to be written down. Nobody could be expected to remember that. Quite impossible. Well, sometimes …

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A fundamental practice of yoga

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Afundamentalpracticeofyoga.mp3 (… continued from ‘The Power of the Mind’) Our teacher often used to give a fundamental practice of yoga. To sit and as the thoughts come up, “Not wanted. Not wanted. Unreal. Unreal. Not wanted.” The thoughts of opposition can be of different kinds. Sometimes there is something that would be good to do, but there is an element which doesn’t want to do it. That element says to the intellect, “Get me out of this.” The brilliant writer, De Quincey, heard a pianist play. He was fascinated. “Wonderful,” he said and he told his friends, “I am going to master the piano and be able to play.” Then he found that it would mean a lot of practice for hours every day.  He had already told a lot of people, and it would be a terrible loss of face to give up. So he said to his intellect, …

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Spirit is independent of the body

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Spiritisindependentofthebody.mp3 (… continued from ‘A fundamental practice of yoga’) Imagine vividly, someone has smacked us on the face or insulted us. Vividly imagine it and then bring the mind here (between the eyebrows), just for three and a half minutes. Now, if you would like to try. Vividly imagine something. A flowerbed that I have cultivated and somebody tramples on it. “Well, why did you do that?” “I don’t need a reason. I just felt like it. That’s all. I wanted to see you go, ‘Oh, you’ve ruined it’.”  Now, bring the attention back here. Another exercise which was given in the same book, is to imagine that we have to make an important errand. To do that, we have to walk down a very dark street then it’s something that needs to be done.  We imagine ourselves walking down the dark street, bringing the attention here and feeling that …

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One of the programmes of Yoga

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/OneoftheprogrammesofYoga.mp3 (… continued from ‘Spirit is independent of the body’) If we just read a short passage from one of the training books, of which our teacher wrote, called, ‘The Heart of the Eastern Mystical Teaching.” Reading:     ‘Choose a picture of the object of your meditation, whether Shiva, Rama or Krishna, and install it in the region of your heart; then think of it with all love; or look at a flame carefully and endow it with the form of the object of your meditation and concentrate on it in your heart. You may have seen, if a little child has shut himself up in a room, with what great love the mother tries to induce him to open the door. The Lord is hidden in the chamber of one’s heart so let the jiva, by loving meditation for a few hours daily, induce Him to manifest Himself in the region …

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A Pole Star Within

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/ThePoleStarWithin.mp3   The Pole Star Within was the title chosen for a group of lectures by a fellow disciple of our teacher and the implication is, which he developed in the lectures, an unfailing direction which we can know, by which we can guide our life and our experience in this world and our spiritual experience. The Pole Star is in the north, the sun rises in a different place every day. We can direct ourselves by the locality known to us but if we travel abroad, we don’t know the locality. The fixed direction is a Pole Star in the north. We say, “North, south, east, west.” North is the important direction. A Chinese is amazed to hear that, “North? There’s nothing north but a lot of snow and ice.” The Chinese would say, “East, west, south, north”, north comes at the end. Why do you British people get …

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Holy texts give us general principles

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Holytextsgiveusgeneralprinciples.mp3 (… continued from ‘A pole star within’) There are external lines and there are internal lines. We can find some guidance in the holy text but the holy text, though they give us general principles, will not tell us what to do in detail, there has to be inspiration. When the word inspiration is mentioned, we feel, “Oh, well, it’s alright if you’re Beethoven or Pasteur.” Pasteur didn’t do very well when he was a boy. He was a good artist, very poor scientist. He touched the sources of inspiration five times in his life, entirely new insights often against the whole logic of the situation. So, we can say, “Well, what sort of thing would this happen, what would this inspiration bring, in the ordinary way?” There are inner lines of a situation. Now, for instance, the Prime Minister of a small Indian state, long before the independence, …

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The riddle of the Self

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/TheriddleoftheSelf+.mp3 (… continued from ‘Holy Texts give us General Principles’) A Japanese company president, he is … or was, the president of the National Panasonic, Matsushita.  He had no education, left school at 13. Now, well, recently, he was the richest man in Japan. His thoughts are very fresh. One of the things he says [is] that most people don’t think at all, they just repeat what they’ve read or seen on the television, they don’t actually think. Now, with his company, when they were only about 600 or 700, they were coming up. When he’d give them a raise, and the company was doing well, he’d give the whole staff quite a big raise. He would say, in his speech, and I have read one of them, he would say, “We’re giving you this money, but it won’t make you happy. Oh, for two or three weeks, you’ll be …

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Shankara’s Path

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Shankaraspath.mp3   In the commentary to Bhagavad Gita Chapter 5, Verse 12 we read of the ‘steady-minded one’. The Sanskrit word is ‘yukta’, which means one who is yoked in yoga, who is self-controlled.  “The steady-minded one, abandoning the fruit of action, attains the peace born of devotion. The unsteady one, attached to the fruit of action through desire, is firmly bound.” In his commentary Shankara says, ‘The steady-minded man’, and this is the man of meditation.  Forty-eight times in his Gita commentary Shankara explains the word ‘yoga’ or ‘yukta’, its derivative, or ‘yunjan’, another derivative, in terms of samadhi or profound identificative meditation. Forty-eight times. It is a characteristic of the commentary. So the yukta, a man of yoga, a steady-minded man, a man of meditation, abandoning the fruit of action, abandoning it for the sake of the Lord, attains the peace, peace born of devotion, born of devotion …

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Restrain the senses first

(… continued from ‘Shankara’s path’) When the United Nations, the famine relief organisation, came there, both tribes were starving. They brought food, but the people on the plain were very resentful and bitter that the tribe living in the hills should also be fed.  They said, “They have been starving so they have not been raiding us because they are too weak, and we also have nothing. But you give us food and we shall start cultivating again, and, again, they will come down and murder us. Don’t feed them. Feed us. You are feeding our murderers.” The United Nations man said how bewildered he felt. We can feel an external unity, but the true unity, the Gita says, is internal unity. The external unity, which has to be constantly reinforced by kind words, by greeting, is no true unity at all.  It has been compared to (well, we don’t have them …

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Mind must be purified

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Mindmustbepurified.mp3 (… continued from ‘Restrain the senses first’) The classical Greeks, the Spartans, were the acknowledged masters of war for a long time, and Thebes was one of the cities that they regularly conquered. One time, they inflicted the supreme humiliation on the city of Thebes by installing a garrison, a Spartan garrison, ruling the whole city. Well, a young man named Epaminondas, by a trick, succeeded in scaring the Spartan garrison, not very easy, and took the city back from them. Then the natural result was war with Sparta, which invariably ended in defeat. The classical strategy was always to mass the best troops on the right, and then the two armies met.  Well, Epaminondas, in view of his surprising success getting the garrison to surrender, was made one of the generals, in fact the chief general, on the side of Thebes. He changed the traditional strategy in a very …

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Yama and Niyama

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/YamaandNiyama.mp3 (… continued from ‘Mind must be purified’) Now, it is quite easy to find a passage here, for instance. Swami Mangalnath who was a fellow disciple of Shri Dadaji. He seems to be saying something quite different. He says, ‘First, before practising Shivoham, a deep meditation on, “I am Shiva “, there must be practice of yama and niyama, the restraints and observances’. We think, “Well, what are those?” Well, the first one is non-violence. You think, “Oh yes, yes.” Then not stealing, and now we feel we have a fairly good idea of what sort of things they are. So, clearly, it is a moral code, and a moral code has got to be carried right through, there are 10 of them, before meditation is practised. Yama and niyama. Very well-known words. They come in Patanjali’s ‘Yoga Sutras’.  Shankara, for instance, in the early part of the commentary, to …

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Killing the Self

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/KillingtheSelf.mp3 (… continued from ‘Yama and Niyama’) Now, when Jesus said, “Do unto others as you would they would do unto you”, this is an echo of a great teacher long before him. Well, well before him, Hillel, who put it in negative form. A rather simple man asked the great Hillel, who was one of the two great leaders of the time, of Israel, teachers of Israel, “Can you tell me the law while I stand on one foot?” An untrained man can’t stand on one foot for more than a few seconds. So Hillel said, “Yes. Don’t do to others what you wouldn’t want them to do to you. This is the law in the province. The rest is commentary.” This is in negative form, and at first sight it seems to be inferior, it is negative, but we look more deeply and we can see that unless …

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Does Zen training have to be changed for the West?

Trevor Leggett is interviewed by David White. D.W : Does Zen training have to be changed for the West? T.L : Ultimately, in any field, the point is whether a thing works. But for the training, there is the question, how much the intellect needs to be satisfied. In Judo for instance, if you tell a Japanese to pull in a particular way, he will do it, and he is prepared to go on doing it for perhaps six months without asking fussy questions about it. If the teacher is a good one the student will begin to get results, and only then will the teacher explain why it had to be that way and no other. But Western  people often cannot keep their minds settled. The Japanese view is that until you have practised and experienced something you cannot possibly understand the reason for it. But many Westerners are a bit like …

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Kobo Daishi

The priest Kobo of ninth century Japan was a universal genius and scholar of vast erudition, one of the outstanding figures in his country’s history. Kobo Daishi (this is his ecclesiastical name, literally “the Great Teacher who spreads the Law”) was born in 774 A.D. as the son of the governor of Sanuki province of Japan. He went to the university at the capital to master Chinese classics and poetry, Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism. At 20 he became a monk, and at 24, when sitting in meditation on a cliff by the seashore, there was an experience of illumination which determined his life.  His learning and piety so impressed the Emperor that he commissioned Kobo to go to China to find the inner heart of Buddhism and bring the knowledge back to Japan. Buddhism, of course, was already established in Japan, but for two centuries it had developed mostly within …

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The Spiritual Teacher in the Gita

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/TheSpiritualTeacherintheGita.mp3   Our teacher before a spiritual lecture advised us to sit still and to bring the attention to this point between the eyebrows. One of the methods of doing it is to touch there or tap, or press the fingernail, or even just pinch a little bit, and use the after-sensation to bring the attention here.  If you like, now we can try this for a minute or two. I’ll begin with the name of God, OM, and then just touch the finger or if you can bring the attention there without it, to do it for a minute. (Chanting of OM).  In this way he said we can cut off the stream of associations, meaning the association that would normally run through our mind, and concentrate on the subject. Now, the word ‘guru,’ teacher, hardly occurs in the Gita itself. There are other gurus than spiritual gurus: the guru of archery, …

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Maya is a magical illusion

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Mayaisamagicalillusion.mp3 (… continued from The Spiritual Teacher in the Gita) Now, we have these three requirements: obeisance – prostration it is sometimes rendered – asking questions and service.  Shankara in [the Bhagavad Gita chapter IV,] verse 39 (they were given in verse 34 but in verse 39), Shankara explains that these are simply external things and they can all be imitated. He uses a very strong word ‘maya-vi-tva,’ – ‘trickiness’. Our teacher told us a story of this, about maya. This is a sort of trick of illusion, a magical illusion. There is a temple in a remote part of a kingdom in the Himalayas.  Some of those kingdoms have been quite rich in the early days, but this was a temple in quite a remote part.  A European traveller came there and in the dim shrine there was an image of Shiva. He was somehow taken with it. There was …

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The world is like a dream

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Theworldislikeadream.mp3   Now, we can subscribe to this and then we can think, “Well, the Gita, yes.” To read the Gita through, just to read it, takes something over two hours and actually to live through it would have taken much longer than that. It couldn’t possibly have happened on a battlefield just before the battle was about to begin. They wouldn’t all have waited for hours and hours before the signal start. It just couldn’t happen. Then you say, “Well, could it happen in a dream?” “Oh, well, yes, it could happen in a dream because anything can happen in a dream.” Well, this is the dream. Shankara teaches, Chapter 2, verse 69, and he says, “The world is like a dream and people see the world as if they were seeing a dream”. We can subscribe to this but when it comes to the actual point we can’t, …

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Withdraw the senses

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Withdrawthesenses.mp3   Then, withdrawal of the senses. The classical example given is the tortoise as the tortoise, when frightened, withdraws its limbs into its shell, so the Yogi withdraw the senses. They no longer function. Saint Theresa gives this example and she quotes it, but she doesn’t give a source. She quotes it, she said, “Whoever said this doubtless knew what he was talking about”. The senses be withdrawn and then there is a mediation where the sense is no longer functioning, as in the case of a sleeping man. He can be roused but while he is asleep he is no longer aware of what is going on around him. In the way, the mediation, the body and the senses should be forgotten finally, if it is practiced regularly, same time and place each day, and then there can be an intensification of the attention within. The role of …

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Extraverts and Introverts 1

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Extroverts%26Introverts1.mp3   In the ancient Upanishads, some of the highest teachings are given but the name of the sage who gave them is not given. So, my teacher laid great stress on this point. Not to believe things because they come from a particular source. But that they should stand – the truth must stand – on its own.  So, although it’s flattering to hear this and that about some person, in actual fact it’s a question of truth and my teacher laid great stress on this point. Sometimes when he went out to lecture, he would take some junior disciple, like myself, and he would speak. Sometimes even without giving warning, he would ask us to speak for five minutes on some aspect of yoga. He wanted to show that, although he himself was a far greater scholar than anything I could aspire to – and he was a …

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Extraverts & Introverts 2

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Extraverts%26Introverts2.mp3   The Upanishad says God pierced the openings of the senses outwards. Extraverted people look outwards and must have interchange with the environment in order to keep awake. They seem to be very energetic, but, actually, they’re trying to keep awake. So you need constant reinforcement. It’s like talking on a bad telephone – you say something, and you have to keep saying, “Did you get that? Hello?”  Then you have to keep hearing voice from the other end to make sure that you’re getting through.  And an extravert needs constant reassurance and reaction from his environment in order to keep going at all. If he gets that, he can keep going. There are some actors who are very sensitive to the audience, and they receive the reinforcement from the audience.  In some theatres of the east, at certain points in the drama, which are known to experts, a …

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Extraverts & Introverts 3

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Extraverts%26Introverts3.mp3   Intro: Mr Trevor Leggett is going to give his talk now on a Chinese Tao textbook. Mr Trevor Leggett. Trevor Leggett:   These are spiritual texts, but they have a different background and sometimes it’s a stimulus to hear from an entirely different tradition. In this Taoist tradition not so much stress is laid on devotion to God. They are great teachers by humour; they like to use humorous examples, and they give many examples from the world, from officials in the world. In the classical Chinese times they had something unparalleled in the world; the offices of state were held by people who had passed examinations, and those examinations were never fixed. The examinations were held in things like knowing the Confucian texts, calligraphy, writing with a brush, being able to write poetry, so it produced a man of refinement and of intellect. He wasn’t too strong on …

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A spiritual man has peace

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Aspiritualmanhaspeace.mp3   (continued from Extraverts & Introverts) “The spiritual man has peace in his everyday life and it even overflows into his dreams. The evil man is a wolf in his everyday life and he has a growl overflowing even into his laughter.” This is a typically Chinese way of teaching, it’s semi humorous, a growl even in his laughter. It’s in two lines of Chinese verse, many of these things you’ll see are in two lines, two contrasting lines. “The spiritual man has peace in his everyday life and it overflows into his dreams. The evil man is a wolf in his everyday life and there’s a growl overflowing even into his laughter.” “Those who hold to virtue will at some time find themselves deserted. But those who rely on wealth and power, though they may think they’re using the world, in fact they are being used by the …

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Man moves cosmic energy

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Manmovescosmicenergy.mp3 (…continued from ‘A spiritual man has peace’) “If one is fully determined he can defeat fate. If the will is one pointed the cosmic energy moves for him.” This is the Taoist phrase which comes nearest to the idea of the divine finger in things, the cosmic energy. “If a man is fully determined he can defeat fate. If the will is one pointed the cosmic energy moves for him.” “Ambitious men think they use the world, in fact they are used by the world. The noble one is not clay to be moulded by some potter.” Officials used to claim to be able to shape their subordinates and this is one of the sentences: “The noble one is not clay to be moulded by some potter. This goes back to Confucius, though the author’s Taoist, [it’s] the same idea. Confucius said, “The superior man is not a tool …

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Even a small kindness is a great blessing

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Evenasmallkindnessisagreatblessing.mp3 (…continued from ‘Man moves cosmic energy’) “If you have behaved well towards someone, don’t think of it at all, but if you’ve behaved badly to them you must think of it all the time. If someone else behaves kindly to me it should not be forgotten, but if they behave with malice it should be forgotten at once.” “When you do a kindness or make a gift, don’t be aware of yourself within making the gift, nor of the other party outside. Just do the kindness. Then even a small kindness will be like a great blessing too. People who are always on the make calculate how much they are doing and calculate what the other party ought to give back in return. Their gift, even if it is a thousand pieces of gold is more bitter than one copper coin”. “When the liver is disordered, the vision of …

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In Samadhi the mind comes to a stop

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/InSamadhithemindcomestoastop.mp3   (…continued from ‘Even a small kindness is a great blessing’) The Gita account of happiness is that it’s something which arises from calmness of mind in meditation, calm in samadhi.  Meditation goes deeper and finally the thought becomes continuous. At the beginning the thought of a meditation has to be constantly supported and then it’s lost and then it has to be brought up again and then the mind goes off and it’s brought up again, supported. The time comes when it’s a continuous flow, and we experience this in life. You’ve just been told that you’ve won the pools; you can get on buses perfectly well, you can go about your business, but all the time that thought’s there, no difficulty about keeping that going. We don’t say, “I can’t keep my mind on it, I never could concentrate, you know. “ No difficulty then at all. …

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Cosmic Purpose

It used to be thought, up to about 1920, that all physical effects could be accurately predicted if there was enough evidence. Even scientists believed this. But it is now realized that the evidence can never be completely specified, because the system cannot be completely isolated, and even if it were, one cannot make the calculations. The so-called ‘Three Body Problem’ shows that in principle it is impossible to calculate the relative effects of gravitational attraction on just three bodies falling freely in space. In practice, it is impossible to set up the equation for a pin-table, let alone solve it. But the general public continued to believe in the possibility of absolute precision. The yogic conception is: not cause-and-effect, but means-and-ends. Look first at cause and effect. In the mediaeval analysis, for some effect like pushing a coin along a table, there were two causes: first was the principle, …

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Prarabdha karma wears thin

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Prarabdhakarmawearsthin.mp3 (… continued from ‘Extraverts & Introverts 2) … and this is one reason Manu says that the fourth quarter of life is especially favourable for this, because what’s called the prarabdha karma – the karma which has begun to go into effect to support our present lives – is now beginning to wear thin.  As I become old, the karma is now wearing thinner – and so it’s easier to see through. The veil is becoming thinner, it’s easier to catch a glimpse. People think that there are other disadvantages to age.   You’re told, “Oh, well, if you didn’t solve it when you were young, you’re not going to be able to solve it when you’re old, are you? It stands to reason, doesn’t it?”  No, it doesn’t. The fourth quarter is a favourable one. There’s less energy, but there’s less distraction, and there’s a clearer inner vision, if …

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Spiritual truth is being poured into you

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Spiritualtruthisbeingpouredintoyou.mp3 (… continued from ‘Prarabdha karma wears thin’) … “This is you and here’s the spiritual truth, and the spiritual truth is being poured into you. It goes into your head, and leaks away through your heels almost at once. That’s not the way to fill a sieve with water. However much you pour, you keep on pouring.  The way to fill the sieve with water [is to immerse it in the water].  Now it’s full of water. “While you think that you’re ladling the spiritual truth into yourself with your study, and your meditations, and listening to discourses, yes, it goes in, and then it goes out again. You have to not bring the spiritual truth into yourself, but you have to throw yourself into the spiritual truth, then you’ll be full.” Our teacher told us that this is possible. He didn’t use this example, but it’s possible to …

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We are seeing shapes of light

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Weareseeingshapesofligh.mp3 (… continued from ‘Spiritual truth is being poured into you’) When we look at a film, some of them are very convincing, especially on the Cinerama.  We can see the poison sword in Hamlet. It’s run into the man, and then the man dies. We see this happening, there’s clear cause and effect. The poison sword is prepared, it’s run into the man, and he dies from the poison. Well, that’s straightforward enough, you can’t get round that. But, actually, what we’re seeing is shapes of light which we call a man, a sword, poison, a man falling down. All these are movements of light. Well, these are examples. They don’t prove anything, they only show that it’s not so ridiculous to talk about the universe as being experienced as light.  It’s not quite so impossible, and ridiculous, and out of date, and exploded, and so on. The teacher …

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Seeds of truth

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Seedsoftruth.mp3 (… continued from ‘We are seeing shapes of light’) Freud was able to show that there were certain elements in the unmanifest, which he called the unconscious wishes.  He thought it consisted solely of wishes – but this isn’t so. It consists of far more than wishes, but there are the wish elements in it. Now, the yoga psychology is this. It’s rather like grass. I perform an action and then that action, that grass, has seeds.  The seeds drop down and then they take root.  And that results, when the conditions are favourable, in a dynamic impression. If there’s a stone in the way, maybe it can’t come up for quite a long time. The stone may be removed or the shoot may go round. So, there are these tendencies in the unmanifest which tend to shoot up and reproduce themselves. There are many different kinds. Some are …

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Practices are directed inwardly

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Practicesaredirectedinwardly.mp3 (… continued from ‘Seeds of truth’) Sometimes I can’t put these unwanted thoughts aside.  I don’t need this, but I can’t put it aside. Well, now I want to write a letter [but along comes another thought to distract us].  It’s just in the way.  Very often, this happens. It’s a worry, it’s an ambition, it’s a hope, a fear… You can’t put it away.  “How are we going to…?”  Well there are yogic practices for this.  In the yoga for the introverts, which is the more advanced form of yoga than karma yoga, the practices now are directed inwardly.  Study – to study the holy texts to find the riddles in them, to think about them, to compare them with other texts.  Perhaps to get a hint of the riddle, to recognise the meaning of the riddle when it’s been half-grasped.  This is external and it purifies the mind …

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The yoga of action

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Theyogaofaction.mp3 (… continued from ‘Extraverts and Introverts 1’) We have eyes. With those eyes we see, but if we become a slave to the eye, if the place says: “Do not colour the walls”, it depresses me – I can’t work here.  But, “Oh, I like the colour of the walls. This is the place.” And then after two weeks, “No, it’s a bit off”. He’s a slave of the environment and he has to practice yoga. And that yoga is karma-yoga, the yoga of action. And this is for people who are reacting with their environment, which is true of most of us. We have jobs to do. We have responsibilities. We have promises which we have made.  For the first three-quarters of one’s life (from the Great Laws of Manu) a normal life is interacting with the world very powerfully, and such a man should practice karma-yoga.  In the …

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Be independent of results

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Beindependentofresults.mp3 (… continued from ‘The yoga of action’!) The next point: to be able to act and to be independent of the results. Now this again is not so easy to understand. “If I don’t care about the results, I’ll just do things badly.” But that isn’t doing them. If my job is to clean the floor, and I think, “Oh, well, I’m independent of the results, so I’ll just clean it and I’ll leave some stains,” that isn’t cleaning.  Shankara makes this point.  “As a man who is passionately attached to the world, as he does his actions, so should the wise man act – abhiyukta – efficiently, but without being bound by the results.”  If it fails, he can keep his values. If it succeeds, then much more difficult. He can keep his values – not to be calling attention, but to succeed and then forget.  We’re asked …

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Direct practice of meditation on the Lord

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/DirectpracticeofmeditationontheLord.mp3 (… continued from ‘Be independent of results’) In our daily life, we should make strong efforts and then when success comes, or failure comes, to be able to look up, instead of letting these things become the whole world to us and being elated, bubbling up with success, or crushed, “I’m no good.” The last one is a direct practice of meditation on the Lord. Generally, people do this with enthusiasm for a time and then it all fades out. You think, “Well, I don’t know.” You see a sort of purpose in the universe sometimes. When things are going well you feel, “Yes, there is a divine purpose isn’t there?” And when things are going badly you think, “Well, something’s gone wrong. Perhaps it isn’t such a divine purpose after all.” How is the mind to be caught and directed into meditation on God? One of the great …

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Gospel of Peace According to Lord Buddha

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/GospelofPeaceAccordingtoLordBuddha.mp3   The Buddha said, “Analyse your lives carefully and you’ll see what’s at the basis of it. Look carefully,” he said.  I translate texts, and there was a rather involved text that they wanted translated and I said, “No”.  I didn’t really want to do it. That’s a very strong position to be in. So, they upped the fee per thousand and finally I agreed it. Then, every time I sat down to do it I thought, “It’s good. I’m getting a lot for this.” Then, I heard that somebody else was getting the same per thousand and, immediately, I started to feel exploited. I thought, “I can earn a lot more than he does. I should be doing better.” Then, when I sat down to do it I thought, “I ought to be getting more than this.”  Then, I realised, or heard, that I was being paid per thousand …

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He said, “I had real power once

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/HesaidIhadrealpoweronce.mp3 (… continued from ‘The Gospel of Peace According to Lord Buddha’) Then the monk said, “I had real power once, and that was when I first came in. It was my second or third year at the temple.” He said, “The jobs in a temple are rotated.”  He was down for the cook that year.  He said his mother had often been ill at home in the village, so he’d had to learn how to cook and he was an expert. So, he cooked very well and their food was pretty good that year. When the cook is bad the food is terrible, but the food in the monastery was good that year. Then, a new boy (they’re just kids from the country) came in as a novice and he was made the assistant in the kitchen.  Old Takashina said, “I gave him hell. Of course, I thought I was …

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Throw away the thoughts as they come up

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Throwawaythethoughtsastheycomeup.mp3 (… continued from ‘He said “I had real power once”‘) Throw away the thoughts as they come up.  The thoughts will become fewer and, finally, selfishness will be discarded,  just for a short time. Then there’s a peace, momentarily. In that peace he can become aware of what they call, or what I translate very roughly as something like, ‘The Buddha current in the world’.  There is a current of the Buddha nature in the world, which is seeking to express itself in awe, in the grass and the trees, in the mountains and the streams and the animals and the human beings. To come into touch with that current means the actions will become spiritually effective. You can say, “Well, they’re just sitting there in a room, one person by himself. You might think of something vaguely clever but that might turn out to be wrong.”  One example that …

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Gospel of Peace According to Lord Buddha Questions and Answers

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/GospelofPeaceAccordingtoLordBuddhaQuestionsandAnswers.mp3   Mr Leggett:  When the natural instincts are not overruled but diverted, freedom comes.  This sort of example is given: people think their yacht can only go as fast as the wind, but actually it can go faster than the wind if it goes across and uses the inclined plane, for instance.  In the same way, if we travel before the instincts, this doesn’t give as much power as if we travel across them – not directly opposing them, travelling across them, what Freud used to call sublimations. People fight and hate each other.  Chivalry, to some extent, was able to change that hatred into a fight, just the same – but then with the respect for the defeated.  That was still a fight. The knights couldn’t stop fighting, but they managed to come across it, so that they fought at the time and then could give respect to the …

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Something will be transmitted, unconsciously Q&A

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Somethingwillbetransmitted.mp3   Interviewer: Mr Leggett, sir, have we lost the feeling of the spirit in the West? Mr Leggett: Well, people very often don’t want inner peace. They want to win, or they want to be comfortably off – to hell with everybody else. There are some in whom this is beginning to stir. Now, the responsibility is on those people actively to try to develop the Buddha nature in themselves. That’s where the responsibility is. We can’t expect that the world, in general, will practice. Something will be transmitted, unconsciously, on the people who are practicing and it will have an effect. If the people who are in a position have some faith in others. You see a teacher of music, when you’re about seven, or eight, what you like are the Strauss waltzes. It’s no good people coming up and saying, “You’ve got to like Bach.” You think, …

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Teaching and learning Q&A

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Teachingandlearning.mp3   Interviewer: Why do we have to get rid of our passions? You said we had to get rid of our passions. Why can’t we be passionate? I don’t think I know the difference between love and passion. Mr Leggett: It’s not getting rid of the passions but being able to be free from them, being able to be free. Oh, right, lots of people say, “I didn’t learn French because I didn’t like the teacher.” Now, that’s an example of not being free from passion. The dislike of the teacher prevents my learning from that teacher. That’s an example where passion will destroy, I’ve gone to learn French or whatever language it is. Now, if a teacher is unpleasant, he’s unpleasant but I’m there to learn French. Is he good teaching French? Well, they say yes. So, I’m learning. That is being free from passion. It doesn’t mean …

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Types of Meditation Q&A      

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/TypesofMeditation.mp3   Interviewer: What must the training of the teacher consist of? Mr Leggett: Well, meditation is a very important part of it and they have a tradition  that it’ll [as 0:25:55] will be a very valuable thing. Because then he will be able to be free from prejudices, from biases, from particular things that he wants to push and others that he wants to suppress. Interviewer: Are they trapped by biases? Mr Leggett: Yes, and if he doesn’t meditate, he will be. If he meditates, he will become free. In the Dark Ages, you mean, they kept Roman civilisation alive, didn’t they? The remnants of Roman civilisation? Interviewer: Yes. Mr Leggett: They introduced the Arabic numerals in 1080 and it was rejected by the commercial world for 200 or 300 years because it wasn’t – not British, it wasn’t Italian. These Arabic things, you know, it came from India, …

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Melting the Ice and Fists

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/MeltingtheIceandFists.mp3   They say Buddhism goes up, it starts with the human condition. And, Christianity, for instance, comes down. In the beginning, God made Heaven and Earth. So then we’ve got what in Buddhism is called, ‘Kojo’ – spiralling up and Christianity’s grace, coming down. And then somehow that seems pretty satisfactory. And then somebody said, “Well, let’s see.” The fact is Buddhism has always gone in from the top through the courts and the intellectual people. The Buddha’s first disciples were Brahmins, about 80% of them. So it’s Buddhism that’s really comes down, you see, whereas Christianity and Islam went up through the underprivileged, mainly women and slaves. So that, kind of, reversed itself.  And then they say, as a matter of fact, the Amida, the grace, the Amida who saves, simply if people turn to Amida, regardless of their conduct, the Buddha forgives. But in Christianity, oh no, …

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What is the Buddha?”

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/WhatistheBuddha.mp3   This is by Tozan, one of the earliest masters. He’s the one who, when reading the Heart Sutra where it says, “There’s no ears, no eyes, no nose, no mouth”, having read that, along with all the other boys, learning it by heart, he went to the teacher and said, “Why does the Sutra say we have no ears and no eyes and no nose, when we have them?” And the teacher said, “You’re the first who’s asked this question. You’re going to get on, but you’ll have to go to a really good Zen teacher.” All the others had simply read it and it’s true in some sort of way, but we perhaps are somehow too coarse to see quite what way that is. Tozan, later on, he was asked about, “What is the Buddha?” And he said, “Three pounds of linen,” roughly. Then, very much later, …

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A yard of teaching, one foot of practice

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Ayardofteaching%2Conefootofpractice.mp3   Now, another one of Tozan. A great teacher, a direct disciple of the Six Patriarch made a comment which was criticised by Tozan and that great pupil of the Sixth Patriarch said, rather than a yard of teaching, better a foot of practice. And rather than a foot of teaching, better one tiny inch of practice. Now, Tozan criticised this. I expect you can immediately see what that criticism would be. Rather than a yard of teaching, one foot of practice. Rather than one foot of teaching, one inch of practice. We can say things are changing in the modern world. These decisions which we have to take all the time, as to whether to take part or whether to interfere, how to fight for the ends of the pen, they’re going to come less and less and less. There’s more information available now, and there’s complete information …

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 We deny it’s a thing

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Wedenyitsathing.mp3   That’s a thing. We can’t say it isn’t. Talk and talk and talk. But when it comes to the point, that fist is a thing. We deny it. The denial can go right back into our teeth, perhaps with the teeth with. It’s a thing, gone. One teacher used this in teaching judo. That’s strong enough or to emphasise an argument, but if you want to stir your tea, it’s quite a nuisance. (Laughter) If you want to write, it’s still more of a nuisance. There are people who write like this, but… (Laughter) If you want to clean your teeth, it’s very… (Laughter) But it’s very strong as it is. Here, it’s even stronger. Although it’s so strong in this direction, you can get a very strong man to hold his arm like that. Try and push it back, you haven’t a hope in hell. You just …

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Early Indian Buddhism

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/EarlyIndianBuddhism.mp3   This isn’t a systematic exposition of the gradual spread. The Buddhists were called ‘bald pate Shramanas’. There were six schools of Shramana, which means, literally, ‘someone who practices austerities’. It was as a Shramana that the Buddha left the palace and practised austerities. Some of the Shramanas were materialists. Some of them say quite openly, “The sacrificial rites, of which the Brahmins have a monopoly, are simply a swindle. Don’t believe in them. When you’re dead, you’re dead. All their talk of karma is nonsense.” One of them says, “If a man went north of the Ganges, and murdered, and tortured, and stole and plundered, and set buildings on fire, he would make no bad karma. If another man went south of the Ganges and gave in charity, and helped the weak, and healed the sick, he would make no good karma. You live as a combination of …

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Terrific austerities are condemned

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Terrificausteritiesarecondemned.mp3   There used to be a statute on the English Statute book, called ‘Concerning the Heretic who Ought to be Burnt.’ Nothing like that in India. There have been very, very minor oppressions and persecutions, but in general Indian kings, whatever religion they belonged to, were tolerant and kindly to those of other religion. For instance, Ashoka , although a Buddhist and a great Emperor, would give donations to the Ajivikas. They were Shramanas and they were completely opposed to Buddhism. Then Buddhism is regarded – was regarded – by the Hindus of the time, as something coming from the warrior caste. This was also a tradition. In the Upanishads, there are a number of cases where the warriors are shown as possessing the real secrets, while the Brahmins are lost in ritualism. There are a number of instances of this. It speaks very highly for the integrity of …

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Buddhists developed strong logic

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Buddhistsdevelopedstronglogic.mp3   Scholars tell us that we mustn’t bring our Western minds to bear on words like ‘schism’, and ‘split’, and ‘heretic’, that, in the India of those days, such words didn’t have the meaning that they have for us with our history of blood, and burning alive, and crusades – not at all. The Chinese pilgrims, for instance, report seeing the Buddhist monks and the Hindus walking together in the processions. There has been very little of the furious hatred. When something has been accomplished by, perhaps, dubious means, the end was not thought to justify the means. As a case, for instance, although this is not exactly early India, it’s about 700AD, Shankara wished to enter on a confrontation with one of the great ritualists – Hindu ritualists – of the time. He went to see him and he found Kumarila about to burn himself alive. Kumarila said …

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Ashoka’s Dhamma

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Ashoka%E2%80%99sDhamma.mp3   Ashoka’s Dhamma can be read in some of the edicts. He followed a custom in India where, if a king donated, say, the produce of a village to support a temple or a religious order, like the Jains or Shramanas, like the Ajivikas, of course tax officials and other officials are liable to make encroachments and start demanding some of the produce for themselves. So, there was a custom of engraving the grant in stone. Rather difficult to take away, rather difficult to obliterate quietly, not like a document that you can tear up or that you can have conveniently burnt and then fail to remember just as it was. He followed this system. At the important places in India, he selected some great rock, or crag, or boulder, or he would erect a pillar, and on this he engraved the principles of dhamma on which the country …

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The Need of the World

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/TheNeedoftheWorld.mp3   I pass on things that I’ve heard mainly from my teacher in the hope that, as they’ve helped me, that they can help other people too. There’s a verse in the Gita, ‘Those who worship lesser gods, really worship the Lord, but they don’t know it. Hence they fail. They have passing successes and then those drop away.’ Now, the analysis of most of our human efforts is that we’re worshipping minor gods. Sometimes we’re worshipping, frankly, selfish gods, but quite often we’re worshipping minor ideals, which we feel will somehow solve all the problems. When I was young, we used to think that crime was caused simply by want and that when everybody had enough to eat, crime would disappear. But we overlooked the fact that a lot of rich people committed crimes and we see today, people who are putting bombs on aircrafts, they’re not starving. …

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Evil in the world

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Evilintheworld.mp3   We are concerned at the evil in the world. And, generally, we sit back and feel that other people should throw money, other people’s money, at the problem; that people should do their duty, people should be compassionate and caring and should labour unselfishly for others. And when one reads of somebody doing these things, comes the clap. But this is something at a distance. Then if we do something close up, the effect is so small that you think, “Well, it doesn’t make any difference at all.” Now, there’s a yogic solution to this problem. That we seem helpless in face of the misfortunes and evils in the world. And yet we have an impulse. We feel that we ought to do something or to try to do something. A man went to a meditation teacher and he said, “People talk about God and Buddha, but how …

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Learning how to handle one’s own heart

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Learninghowtohandleone%E2%80%99sownheart.mp3   In the end, one of the teachers says, “It comes to this. ”In the old fishing villages, they used to have these long boats and they’d have to be turned over. Now it took, they used to say, 12 men to turn the boat. And there was a proverb in the fishing villages. You get 12 men and you’re all going to make this joint effort to turn the boat over. Of those 12 men, one will be foxing, but actually he’s not putting any force in at all. The other 11 are. Now, the teacher said, “When you know somebody else is getting away with it, can you still do your work with the same satisfaction and peace? Your work is the same, but the knowledge that somebody else there is getting away with it free, can that poison your work? If it can, then you have …

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Don’t depend on connections in the world

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Don%E2%80%99tdependonconnectionsintheworld.mp3   Normally, I’m clutching, I’m hanging on, arranging – perhaps very cleverly for my welfare, my benefit, my survival, my power, my satisfaction. And then there’s something independent of those things that can be glimpsed. Then we become independent. This is the first point and a glimpse of that can give us a certain freedom of action. Normally, we have to keep up an elaborate system of defences and the tax and the statuses and the connections. Now, it doesn’t mean not to have connections with the world but not to be absolutely dependent on them. When something independent has been glimpsed, we can become free from the total reliance on the things of the world. Been totally crushed when things go against me, being totally elated when things go for me, getting very excited when I get a bit of power and misusing it. People think of power …

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Creativity in Life

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/CreativityinLife.mp3 Now, I gave here two small examples from that millionaire, of when he was building up his company. The communists were strong in Japan, shortly after the war and they used to have representatives in all the companies. Now they had one in his company and they succeeded in creating a certain resentment against the president who was only about… 600 or 700 staff he had there. Anyway, they want to humiliate him in some way. Now, the new year, the whole factory is always clean and made, sort of, spotless and then there’s a little ceremony of blessing. There are rice cakes and a lobster and ancient Shinto ceremony that’s simply done to start the new year. And it’s always a point of honour, the whole place should be quite clean. And the president goes around with the directors and they go to every part of the factory. …

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Meditate on the cosmic purpose

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Meditateonthecosmicpurpose.mp3   So another form of meditation is to meditate on the cosmic purpose. And this is to meditate on one of the traditional forms of the Lord. In the Eastern texts, they’re given in the form of riddles and they are as a matter of fact, in the Christian texts, but this has always been played down. But the gospel says quite clearly, ‘Christ always spoke in parables’. And if you look at the text, what it says, ‘less the people should understand’ and you think, “What?” That part of the gospel was all read very quickly. He always spoke in parables. And he said, ‘I speak in parables, lest they should understand’. You think, “What?” Well, for Christians, I suggest to identify these places and it comes more than once in the gospels. And then to look at some of the parables. And if they’re read with a …

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Change the roots of consciousness

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Changetherootsofconsciousness.mp3   Now, recently I’ve been in India and there’s a desert there, the Rajasthan desert and they were looking for oil. The geologists told them there might be oil down there. Well, that desert is a terribly depressing place. There’s about one person every three or four kilometres, it’s almost unliveable. But if there was oil there, of course it would be of some value, well, be of great value. So they started boring for oil you see. Well, went down deep and the engineers say that there’s a moment you can tell when there’s going to be, sort of, breakthrough. I don’t know the details, but you can tell when the drill is coming and they got news that they’d come to this kind of formation below which there might be oil. So they dug and everybody was waiting for the report, but it wasn’t oil. Water. So …

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The Path in Brief

Shankara on the Teacher/Pupil relationship, Bhagavad Gita verses IV. 34-39 Shankara’s text-frames and summarizing comments. The Gita, like many other divinely-inspired texts, gives its teachings in groups of verses, which have to be read together as a unity. Then another subject may be taken up abruptly, not closely related to the first one. If a reader tries to force the two groups into a sequence, he gets bewildered. To prevent that, Shankara carefully provides a frame for each group, as indeed does the Gita itself at the most important points. The top of the frame is often a question: `What is to be said about this and this?’ and the bottom can be: `Thus the conclusion is…’ Within the frame the verses of the passage have been considered in relation to each other, to the Gita as a whole, and to the Upanishadic and traditional background. In key places Shankara …

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Progressive Meditation: The 5 Sheaths

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/ProgressiveMeditationThe5Sheaths.mp3   Trevor: Well, this talk is on an Upanishad called Taittiriya. The point of the Upanishad is to confirm the teachings in one’s own experience, not to revere them from a distance. Generally, with sacred texts and so on, there’s this feeling that these are beautiful dreams. And you can read an Upanishad with mounting exaltation, and the heart is leaping towards the words. At the end, it says, “Friend, your face shines like one who knows Brahman.” He said, “Yes.” And then it finishes. And then it’s all gone; there’s a sort of memory of something beautiful. It’s like having been to a beautiful concert or something like that. The glory of the music in a way is still in the air, still in one’s mind, but it’s gone. One can be very expert in the theory of the metaphysics. Now, Russell has pointed out that a blind …

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Yoga’s experiments are made in consciousness

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Yoga'sexperimentsaremadeinconsciousness.mp3   The view of the universe as energy, this is now the view that’s held by many physicists. And it’s not for somebody who isn’t a scientist to try to make little rays into the realm of science and physics, and come back, so to speak, with a sort of trophy. Yoga doesn’t depend on any scientific, in the western sense, scientific experiments; it has its own experiments. And its own experiments are made in consciousness. But we can know something of the experiments of science, only to show that they don’t rule out completely the results of Yoga experiments, as is held by those people who are still thinking in terms of 1890. Energy. The senses change the environment. Now, it used to be thought in 1890 that I look at something, and then the light rays come in onto the retina, transmitted to the brain, form a …

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Yogic meditation is to go deeper

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Yogicmeditationistogodeeper.mp3   A man has just written, professor of chemistry at Oxford has just written a book called ‘The Creation’ – it’s a few years, two or three years back – in which he said, “Well, nevertheless, these things could happen by chance. And if they could happen by chance, it’s unscientific to think of some intelligence or mind.” Well, such a man has never played cards. If you play cards with a man who, every time he deals, gets a marvellous and, you begin to suspect something. It could happen by chance. Oh, it can. It can happen. Set of wonderful hands keeps coming up; it could happen. But it’s not unscientific to think, “This chap’s cheating.” It’s not unscientific. It’s not silly. There’s an intelligence there. It gets too unlikely to happen by chance, though theoretically it could. And he begins to find mind. From a modern book …

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Cosmic intelligence integrates the universe

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Cosmicintelligenceintegratestheuniverse.mp3   Intelligence nowhere appears directly, but it integrates the universe. Newton was aware – even Newton, in Newton’s time – he was aware that there were several different solutions to the way the planets, the orbits would end up, and that some would be unfavourable to life, and life would be impossible. And he concluded it was the finger of God, which determined that out of the various alternatives, this was the favourable one. Well, in an almost identical form, we have this view today. There is an intelligence which is controlling. We can say, “Well, you get a thing like a terrific earthquake. How can you say there’s an intelligence controlling?” Well, all that means is, “I don’t agree with what’s happened.” Stalin’s camps. The wars. “How can you say there’s an intelligence controlling?” Yes, we can. The intelligence gives freedom. Every time we say we try to  …

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The universe is bliss and light

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Theuniverseisblissandlight.mp3   Koestler, for instance, wants to explain away great discoveries in science. He says, “Oh well, they think of some very simple thing in a different field and it suddenly gives them a suggestion of something new in their own problem.” But this is quite untrue, in many cases. Many of the most important cases. Pasteur, for instance. He was experimenting with this anthrax. He created the culture, and when the chickens were inoculated they would die very quickly. And he was trying to find some means to prevent this. Well, then he prepared a culture of this, and it was left, so the culture was practically dead. And the assistant was going to throw it away. Now, Pasteur made a most extraordinary statement. He gave an order completely contrary to the logic of his own thought, which was that the bacteria were either active or dead. These were …

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How is this going to apply to ourselves

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Howisthisgoingtoapplytoourselves.mp3   We used to write with a pen, dipping it into the ink. Now we have these biros; you just write and the ink comes flowing. Well, if you’re old enough to remember when the fountain pen first came in, oh, it was wonderful. There was this constant dipping. And if you dipped, got too much ink on the nib, it would blot, you see, on the paper, so you had to put it in, and then you did that, and then you wrote. The fountain pen, wonderful. People could hardly believe it. Some of the old scholars, even with a fountain pen, they’d be constantly going, “Oh.” They couldn’t really grasp it. And then gradually… Some of the pupils of an old scholar; he couldn’t rid himself of this old idea, so he was dipping his fountain pen into the ink, you see? So what they did was …

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God does not think

To know, without delusion, the Lord as the highest spirit, who has entered and who supports the three worlds,is to awaken to: ‘I am he.’   Before this awakening the Lord is believed to be all-pervading, as the text says;  but there is an unspoken qualification:  ‘but not here, and not in me.’  When the awakening comes, the remaining thin bonds of restriction to the body-mind complex are dissolved. What then does it mean to say that he knows everything, and that he worships?  There is no separate-seeming self;  only the Lord is there, within and without.  He, the Lord, knows everything in the sense that he is everything.  God does not think, or know as a mental operation:  there is nothing apart, nothing  separate, for him to know as an object. But the surviving body-mind complex, though a mere shadow, can still be referred to as ‘he’; this it is …

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Progressive Meditation. The Riddle

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/ProgressiveMeditation.TheRiddle.mp3   This is one of these patterns. People can look at this. Some people see bent lines. To some people, the centre seems to stand out as though it was a sort of mound running down the middle of a picture, and some people see more than that. Now, this is an example of what- in the yoga perception theory, is called the Yogivarsana the fact that you have got the external object, the sense organ, and then you have what you might call the internal set or make-up which can strike. People see various things. If you have done quite a lot of sunbathing, you may see more than just the centre is raised. But there are a lot of these visual illusions and some of them were known in India and some of them were used. Well, I have just put this up. It is an example …

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Practise meditation every morning

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Practisemeditationeverymorning.mp3   One of the traditional practises, it is to sit in the meditation posture. If you are on this- you can sit on the ground. If not, sit in a balanced position. Then to touch the point just below the navel point, here, and to touch the point just between the eyebrows. Some people pinch here. Now, shut or half close the eyes, and use the after sensation of the touch just below the navel, and the touch here to bring the attention to those two points, as if there was a line joining those two points. Now, if you would like to just try for me. Two or three minutes. Sit up in a balanced position, touch just below the navel where the finger can just press in, the muscles can be slightly tense. Then touch between the eyebrows, press the fingernail in, or just pinch, and use …

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