Purify and organise the mind body

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Purifyandorganisethemindbody.mp3   The next one,  Manas , the mind. To enter the mind body, and to purify and organise the mind body. Now, in the west, we don’t recognise what is called purification of the mind, at all. We just say, “No, I can judge. I can judge.” Especially scientists. They are very arrogant. They don’t admit that they have unconscious prejudice. That is not admitted. “No, I am objective. My scientific training has made me objective.” But, as a matter of fact, if you look at the history of science- for instance, Pasteur, he was bitterly opposed, furiously opposed when the continental drift idea- which is now… and plate tectonics is now orthodox. But when it was first proposed here and Bragg reported- when he was a young man, he showed an article on the continental drift by Wegener to one of the most prominent British geologists at the …

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A system of training the mind

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Asystemoftrainingthemind.mp3     We have a bad habit, smoking. But one cure that I came across that was fairly successful was quite a good one. And in this course- it was something that you paid… I have forgotten- £2 or £3 for, and you got the little booklet, and you got an egg timer. And they said, “You can have a cigarette, but put the egg timer there and have your cigarette when the sand has run out.” So, some people told me- some people who had done this said, “Well, you think, God, I might have a cigarette. You put the sand on. Four minutes, it is a hell of a long time, isn’t it?” And, finally… Now, that check of four minutes was a very useful thing, and after some weeks of it, they could feel the automatic grip of the habit was beginning to be loosened. Then, …

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Overcoming pain of body and mind

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Overcomingpainofbodyandmind.mp3   The pain of the body and the mind. “I have been terribly disappointed. I have been betrayed. I have been let down. I have been marvellously successful and enormously lucky.” That was the mind. He becomes a little bit independent from them. He can feel a little bit by sympathy, but it is not an identification. And, as a result, he is free to walk away. This is the manifestation of divine intelligence, of the divine consciousness. I mean, he becomes independent. He is not absolutely tied up. Though he is sympathetic to and feels with the body and the mind and with his surroundings, but not absolutely caught. You could say, “Well, what is the advantage of this?” Well, one of the advantages is this, if I stand on this little platform here, it is quite easy for me to do a somersault on it, jump about …

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Independence of outer things

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Independenceofouterthings.mp3   While we live by depending on outer things, outward circumstances, we are always liable to be upset and broken down. People have inner resources. They are not given them. The outer things can change or stay the same. They are not dependent on them. By meditation approaches, it begins with the body. Meditation techniques are different. I know there is always a tendency in what you might call eclectic circles to say, “Oh, well. It is all really the same really.” But, as a matter of fact, spiritual trainings differ considerably among themselves. He settles now. The first thing in practising detachment from the body, from the obsessive body consciousness, is to have the same positioning each time. If possible, the same place and the same time, and to practise that. Now, one of the advantages is this. If it is done, for instance, at the same time …

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The Traditional Teacher

The Western idea of a teacher tends to be that he is one who is paid to give such instruction as may be required. In the East, the teacher’s position vis-à-vis the pupil is different. He is one who has given his life to mastering a subject, and who may be willing to transmit that mastery to a qualified aspirant. The pupil is primarily regarded as one who wishes to learn, not as a source of money payments. The pupil very often goes to live in the teacher’s house, and is fed, clothed and taught by him. In return he acts as servant and attends on the teacher. The question of fees is quite secondary. Confucius describes the teacher in these words : ”This is the character of the man : so intent upon enlightening the eager that he forgets his hunger, and so happy in doing so, that he …

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Change of Consciousness

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Changeofconsciousness.mp3   There was an article in the Times, the Science Correspondent: ‘Old Age: No Handicap to Learning’. This is research that has been done in the Max Planck Institute in Germany. It said the old people; they change their technique of learning. They can learn as well as the children in most aspects. Better than the children when it comes to, they can deploy their thoughts more precisely and accurately in the new language. Not so good as the children in acquiring a new accent. So this is a popular impression that you can’t learn a new language when you’re old. This is November 1987. Now, if I’m, well, nearly 20 years ago, I decided to learn a new language when I retired. And a lot of people told me, “Not at your age, Trevor.” I persisted, and they said, “No, Trevor, no. You can’t do that. You can’t …

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Practice calm endurance

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Practicecalmendurance+.mp3   In the extreme form, the actions themselves are dedicated to God, and this is somebody living a life entirely for religious ends. For instance, say, a Jesuit Father; if you go to his room, he’s got a crucifix on the wall, he’s got a book, and he’s got a spare robe. Now, he may be a learned professor, who gives very highly appreciated lectures, and takes retreats and so on all over the world. But he tells you, he says, “I own three things. That crucifix is mine, the book is mine, and the spare robe is mine. Everything else belongs to the Order. The Order sees if I need food, and supplies the food. And if it doesn’t supply the food, I don’t have food.” Now, this is a life which is apart from the world. Though again, as he said to me, “I have access to …

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 Study of ones own self, Svadhyaya

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Studyofonesownselfsvadhyaya.mp3   Svadhyaya. ‘Sva’ is self. And ‘adhyaya’; it means something like ‘to study; to go into’. But ‘Sva’ can also mean ‘one’s own’, and ‘adhyaya’ can mean ‘study of one’s own’. So, it’s taken to mean two things: the study of the scriptures and texts which relate to the self, and also especially the study and scriptures of our own tradition; the tradition in which we’ve been brought up; to study those. Now, the essential point is not to study them as theory, but to study them as ourselves, as relating to ourselves. Not to take it, “Oh well, there is a self, in man, which is unchanging, immutable, immortal, blissful.” Well, these are theoretical and beautiful statements. To find out where is that self – Hulme, “I look within; I see nothing but a flux of thoughts and sensations.” Now, try looking within, behind all the changing thoughts …

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Mysticism of the Heart 3

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/MysticismoftheHeart3+.mp3   Trevor: The Sanskrit word is ‘upadhi’. Which means something like ‘putting near’. And that means something like associating with on a false basis. Now, to give a sort of English example, in Westminster Abbey, there’s the tomb of King Edward I. He was a pretty tough king, you might say. In the Middle Ages, wars were fought normally with banners depicting the various sides. But if you went in with red banners, it meant there was no quarter given; you were going to kill every man, woman and child in the land you were invading. And Edward I went into Scotland with red banners. That was a long time ago, about 1292, but… He was also the king who first, of all the European nations, expelled the Jews – who didn’t get back till Cromwell, so Shakespeare; not clear where he would ever have seen a Jew as …

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Consciousness of the world disappears

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Consciousnessoftheworlddisappears+.mp3   Well, finally, in the last one, as we’ve said, Samadhi, then the consciousness of the world and the body, which before had become faint, now disappears, and there’s only the object of meditation in its radiant form. So it would be the case of the Buddha in radiant form. Now, it takes practice and persistence, but it corresponds to something already in ourselves; the forms, like the Buddha, the Avatars, like Christ, Krishna; they are forms which are taken on by the Lord for his devotees. We need, mostly, a human form, for a long time; it’s not easy to meditate on abstract things for long. Particularly if we need forgiveness, or if we’re very frightened, or if we’re very tempted. Then to have a human form, from whom we can feel we’ve been forgiven, or that we’re being helped in temptation. Crime will never be banished until …

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Conjoin doing good with spiritual practice

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Conjoindoinggoodwithspiritualpractice+.mp3   He ( Shri Dada) said that when we want to do good, we should conjoin it always with a spiritual practice, and not think, “Oh well, I will do this good. I will give this, I will do that.” It will say here, “He sympathised with people”, and when there’s a cholera outbreak, he says, “My children, don’t think hardly of your maker, because of these deaths in cholera.” He used to go round himself. He trained as an amateur doctor, because some of the areas were very poor, and the orthodox doctors wouldn’t visit them. And he brought some relief, but some did die; of course, many did die. But he said, “Don’t think hardly of your maker. These souls will be born again. And you do not know, they have lived out this Karma, but they will be born again. You do not know the future …

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Honen worshiped Amida Buddha

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/HonenworshipedAmidaBuddha+.mp3   Hōnen was the founder of one of the sects in Japan, who worship the Amida Buddha. There’s no official god in Buddhism, but there are great Buddhas, and Amida, Amitābha Buddha, the Buddha of immeasurable splendour, is worshipped. So the mantra is, ‘Namo Amitabha, Namo Amitabha, Namo Amitabha, Namo Amitabha’. And he used to lead processions of this going through the towns and villages. Well, the authorities didn’t like it; they were Confucian, mainly, and they thought this might upset people; lead to disorder. So Hōnen and his followers suffered some persecution. But they did persist, and there were very many of them. Well, the counties, that he went with some of his disciples through one town in western Japan. And he went through the streets all day, singing this devotion to Amida Buddha. Well, at night, Hōnen stayed at a cheap lodging place, and at the same …

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Mysticism of the heart 2

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/TheRiddleinprogressivemeditation.mp3 This is also known as Progressive Meditation 2 – The riddle Trevor:       Shri Dada does meet sceptics. Now, some of them; he gets them to think much more deeply about their own position. And one of them, he says, “Well, you’re not willing to think about it, and the yoga has no message for you.” And there will be people for whom yoga has no message as they stand. But the sentences of the book contain thoughts of a not highly intellectual man, very, very clear. And when we read the book, we should pay attention to some of these very terse phrases. If we’re alert, we can go into them. When he’s talking to this sceptic, the sceptic presents the view that the Earth has been created, and then man is a relatively late arrival on the Earth. Before that, there was, well, there was what Bertrand Russell …

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The vibrations of Shri Rama

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/ThevibrationsofShriRama.mp3   Recording: “The physical form of Shri Rama is in Vaikunta, but His vibrations are ever around and within us, just as the rays of the sun, though millions of miles removed from us, still penetrate into the deepest mines and caverns. You can even now come into contact with the grace of Rama by praying to Him with a tranquillised mind, divested of vanity and longing for pleasure, and by being devoted to the service of the Guru. Each particle of the holy vibrations of Rama contains His essence. You can have a vision of His materialised personality, anywhere and at any time, if your devotion to Him is complete. The saint Tulsidas, and Raghunath Das in our own time, have had the privilege of the sight of Rama. When one so unworthy as myself can be blessed with His holy Vision, surely the privilege is open to …

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Samskaras are dynamic latent impressions

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Samskarasaredynamiclatentimpressions.mp3   In the yogic psychology, there’s the mind, and there’s what’s called Samskara, which are dynamic, latent impressions, formed from the thoughts and actions of the past. Which seekers always seeking to reproduce themselves. Now, until those are changed, we shall not be able to change on the surface permanently. We can change momentarily, but it’ll change back again, because the roots have not been changed. The roots are changed by meditation and by habitually thinking on those lines; that gradually changes the roots of the mind. And then, the impulses which come up are impulses from inspiration, and not the impulses due to the dynamic traces of what I’ve done before. I tend to, we tend to simply repeat what we’ve done before. People don’t develop naturally. It’s a myth. You start typing with two fingers, you don’t naturally go on and gradually type with ten; touch-type with …

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Remove your own intense body consciousness

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Removeyourownintensebodyconsciousness.mp3   There are the yoga practices given. It says, “Try to get rid of your own intense body consciousness, and then you will have an influence, which will be different from the influence of doing the physical good.” But one of the things Mother Theresa says about social work; she says that it’s very good, of course, as done by the ordinary social workers, who are secularists. But she said, “It’s not the work of Christ. They’re bringing relief to the suffering bodies, but they don’t know how to feed the souls.” And she said that, “In Calcutta, yes, we are indeed starving”, but she comes to the west – she is herself from Yugoslavia – but she comes to the west, and she says, “I see people there who are in a much worse state than we are in Calcutta. Although they are nourished, but they are starving, …

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How to stop a thought

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Howtostopathought.mp3   If I want to write something, “Now, I’ve got this here, then the telephone rings. So I’ve got to answer the telephone. Here. Don’t answer…” Well, to be able to put the things down. And then just to pick up the one I need. Not trying to hold everything all the time, while I’m doing one thing. The ability to put things down. We know how to think, but we don’t know how to stop a thought. Now, there’s a basic yogic exercise, to try to do this. Sit reasonably upright. And then feel you’re on top, on a hilltop. And your lap; you’ve got in your lap a cloth, full of little pebbles. You’re on a hilltop, under the blue sky. You’ve got cloth full of pebbles in your lap; little pebbles. Now, a thought comes up. Pick up a pebble, and with that pebble, throw the …

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A note from Tokyo

Dear Dr Shastri Just returned to Tokyo from Kyushu, stopping at Kyoto on the way back. Kyoto seems almost the same, and I went round some of the temples. I expect you remember the Moss Temple of Saiho-ji, with its garden designed by Muso Kokushi, and made by arranging trees, rocks, and little lakes without any flowers or shrubs, but with moss covering the ground everywhere. This was a most peaceful place, without the magnificence of Nishi-honganji but in fact more impressive. At the Myoshin-ji temple I had an introduction to one of their scholars, who is a Zen man as well as a philosopher. He was a very nice man, who received me with almost embarrassing kindness. He reads English but does not speak it. However, I managed to follow him in Japanese as he speaks slowly, and he spoke to me for over an hour on the Zen …

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Categories Zen

Meditation in the Zen Tradition

The word `Zen’ comes from the Sanskrit `Dhyana’, meaning meditation, and one of the main characteristics of the Zen schools of China and Japan is the importance they give to the practice of contemplation. The following is translated from an article on Meditation by a Japanese Zen Master, Amakuki Sessan, a monk who lived in the present century. Those who perform meditation for even one session Destroy innumerable accumulated sins ; How should there be wrong Paths for them ? The Paradise of Amida Buddha is not far. These four lines speak of the effects of sitting in meditation (Za-zen) especially in regard to repentance and destruction of sins. The Sixth Patriarch, defining the word Zazen, says : Outwardly to be in the world of good and evil yet with no thought arising in the heart, this is Sitting (Za) : Inwardly to see one’s own nature and not move …

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Become like a Buddha for a time

A Japanese poet – Shizukasa ya Iwa ni shimiiru Semi nokoe The translation could be – ‘Oh the quietness. The shrill voice of the cicada is soaked up by the stones.’ This is a temple scene and suddenly in the quiet of this temple there is this bursting forth of the shrill note of the cicada. It’s ear-piercing while it lasts. Then it stops and there is a moment when, so as to speak, that shrillness and that disturbance is soaked up, soaks away into the stillness of the rocks, the stones, of the temple. We can find some hints for Yoga practice in the practice of certain arts which require a clear discipline – especially, for instance, music. In music the execution has to be not merely perfect, but it also has to be done in a very short space of time sometimes – and musicians have to practise …

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Self-deception bolsters itself with reasons

Self-deception begins in childhood, as a way of escaping a sense of failure. When small children lose at some game, some of them say: “Well I wasn’t really trying. It’s a silly game and I don’t want to play it.” When they get older, the self-deception bolsters itself with reasons. Suppose one is to learn Greek in order to do business in Greece. The learning process becomes tiresome, and is abandoned: “There’s no point in learning it anyway. Anyone who is anyone there speaks English.” Or perhaps it is classical Greek, to read the wisdom of Heraclitus and Plato and Aristotle. Again it turns out to require more application than is on offer, so the study is dropped: “Why not read them in translation? It’s the ideas that matter, not the words. If you want to study Relativity, you don’t have to learn German because Einstein first wrote in German.” …

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Siddhi

When I first met Dr Shastri, I had done meditation for about seven years, on the lines of practising casting off thoughts including desires at any time, while being able to entertain them at other times at will.  My interest was to develop some powers and knowledge over self, and perhaps over external things directly.  This was the subject of repeated experiments.  I did pranayama and hatha yoga postures, and did transform physique and physical energy, after never playing sport up to fifteen.  I was practising ‘reading’ playing cards, shuffled and dealt face down: in spite of a few remarkable successes (e.g. two successive correct and the third one near (jack of clubs instead of king), I rated the results as poor; they did not seem to improve. The visual images were mostly blurred and shifting:  the few clear ones seemed to turn slowly up before the inner eye, as …

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Points and hints 1

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Talks/Points+and+hints+1.mp3 Trevor Leggett: In Buddhism, they don’t like to postulate unknown entities, such as the self. The Buddha had the doctrine of no self. Perhaps he had a doctrine of no doctrine of the self, but he doesn’t like postulating and Atman is one of the- and no self is one of the keys to Buddhism. In the yoga, they have the self as one of the key concepts. Probably Buddha himself didn’t like using the word ‘self’ because people immediately stick at the individual personal self, and the word is used, and that is what he wants to lose and get rid of. Well, the technique, in many respects, is identical but some of the basis in devotion to the lord and so on, the stress is different. Now, the best thing with inability to sleep is to say, “Alright, I’m not going to sleep,” and get up, and …

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Marionettes are referred to in the Gita

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/MarionettesarereferredtointheGita.mp3   The marionettes are referred to in a verse of the Gita, verse 61 of chapter 18, and this our teacher’s translation. ‘The Lord rules the hearts of all beings dwelling therein, causing them to revolve like a machine by His Maya, magic power’. Then, the next verse is, ‘The yogi must take refuge in Him with all his heart, instead of trusting his lower self which expresses itself in ambition, material desires, attraction and aversion, and other limitations which end in despair. By His grace, the yogi will attain supreme peace, the highest state. The result of contact of the lower self with the Supreme Being is the transformation of the conditioned self into the Infinite’. Then, in these verses two things are given. One is that the Lord whirls the beings through His magic power, as if they were puppets on a machine and secondly, that through …

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We are whirled by Maya like Marionettes

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/WearewhirledbyMayalikemarionettes.mp3   The Gita tells us that we are whirled by Maya like marionettes, jerking through a series of reflexes. Shankara, in an analysis of this, in another verse of the Gita, the verse says, ‘Even the Knower, even the Jnani, acts in accordance with his nature, what will restraint avail?’  The opponent says, “Well, in that case, there’s no point in anyone making any efforts at all,” but Shankara says, “No, because we are held to our nature only through attraction and aversion. If they can be annulled, if their binding power can be annulled, then we are freed from our own nature, which makes us behave like marionettes”.  We can be dressed very beautifully as marionettes. We can have the role of a king or a very rich man. We may think that it is not so bad, but in actual fact, the Gita points out all these …

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Habitual likers and dislikers of illusion

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Habituallikersanddislikersofillusion.mp3   We can become habitual likers and dislikers of something that is quite illusory. Now, for instance, people in this country, and in Europe generally, appreciate cheese, especially in France. I think De Gaulle made the remark, “How can you govern a country that’s got 173 different kinds of cheeses?” Well, they admire cheese and the different varieties of it, but to a traditional Japanese, the cheese is food that’s gone bad. It is rotten. They are getting used to it now, but they absolutely were revolted by these Westerners stuffing this rotten food into their mouth, food that has gone bad, putting it in and then claiming to enjoy it. Towards the beginning of the century, anything foreign used to be called ‘cheesy’ and it was claimed that foreigners tended to smell of cheese. Well, we think, “Oh, how ridiculous. Cheese is very nice.” When we, in turn, …

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Mysticism of the Heart

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Mysticismoftheheart.mp3   There are various spiritual traditions and we should respect them. But generally, one should train on one particular line. If you’re going to do athletics, you do a lot of different things but generally you have one line on which you train and then you can get skilled and balanced and response in that line. The tradition of study, we have a book like this ‘The Heart of the Eastern Mystical Teaching’ or we have something like the New Testament. Well how do we study it? We think, “Well you just read it,” but actually that generally makes no impression at all. People who do that, they just pick out some text that they fancy and say, “That’s enough for me.” Then they avoid texts that they don’t care for. In fact, they succeed in persuading themselves that such texts don’t exist. Jesus said to the masses, “If …

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Study the nature of yourself

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Studythenatureofyourself.mp3   I could have done a lot more harm if I hadn’t had to spend so much time studying Japanese and Sanskrit. I haven’t had the time to do all the harm that I might have done otherwise. Study has got many advantages, study of the books. But he said, “No, study not merely books but study the nature of the world. Study the nature of yourself. Pray. Pray first to an external lord but that will produce a quiver from the lord within ourselves. Then discipline ourselves. We can’t do anything unless we discipline ourselves.” There is a humorous Chinese saying; to be a really bad man you have to have many virtues. You’ve got to be brave. You’ve got to be persistent. You’ve got to be clever and you’ve got to plan very carefully otherwise you won’t be a really bad man, you’ll just be a little …

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The Cosmic Plan

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Thecosmicplan.mp3   By my planning and by my reason and by my efforts, I can think of some very good things to do but very often they go wrong and I don’t know why. They’re not in accord with what is loosely called the cosmic plan. God has a purpose. By entering into these states we can come into conformity with that purpose and then the patterns of the contribution which is going to be made through the meditator will begin to become apparent. Not necessarily that some picture appears or a voice says, “Do this and do that,” but they will find that they are beginning to do things without a stress and they’re beginning to do things naturally and that things will become fruitful. It’s not done with a lot of internal friction. It’s as though there is an inspiration coming up. There is a calm flow of …

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Experience a flash of Immortality

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Experienceaflashofimmortality.mp3   We have to experience a flash of immortality now and then, when death comes, I have been here before. We shall know. These practices are given. They are experimental. He said, “If you do this, the patterns of what you’re to do in the world will come before you and you will begin to feel a satisfaction and a knowledge, a completeness, a fulfilment in your actions, however small they may be from the point of view of the world. You will have visions which will take from you the terrible hankering and the longings. You will begin to see.” It would be marvellous to have £1bn, wouldn’t it? Well not if you owed £2bn like Maxwell did. By entering into this learning, to enter into these states, these connections with the Lord, the hankering and the bitterness and the desire for revenge against the world, they will …

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Mediate on the form of the Lord

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Mediateontheformofthelord.mp3   Some years ago one of the last surviving members of the Flat Earth Society, he was from the same sports club and I talked to him once. He said, “They think they’re going round the world but actually they’re going round in a circle on the edge of the world.” I said to him, “Well radio.” He said, “Oh. I hadn’t thought of that. I’ll have to think a lot about that.” But in the end, talking to him, I realised it was a social club. They no longer spoke much about the flat earth but they met their friends. It was a pleasant enough meeting. Finally, they were saying, “Well look, we never said the earth is absolutely flat like a sheet of paper. I mean we know there are mountains.” But what we said was, “It’s flat-ish.” Now your astronomers say, don’t they, that the earth …

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Slip out of the Mind Cage

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Slipoutofthemindcage.mp3   Reader: Broadening the mind is the first step out of this difficulty. Careful study of history, listening to recitations of the Puranas and so on all help to widen the mental horizon and should be welcomed as spiritual aids. Then, my friends, let the soul try to slip out of the quilt of Sansara by cultivating devotion and resorting to meditation. Swami Krishnanandaji used to devote some six hours a day to his self-study. My teacher recommended a study of history because he said, “You can see, in history, what happens. You have your ambitions. You can look in history and see what happens to people who fulfil those ambitions.” He often quoted the history of Napoleon which he studied carefully. He said, “When Napoleon was at the peak of his success when the final treaty with the Tsar was concluded at Tilsit, this was the peak of …

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Honesty and Religious practice

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/HonestyandReligiouspractice.mp3   In the Ramayana, the great epic of India, Rama, the incarnation of God makes friends with the ferry man, who is one of the lower class. He embraces him in thanks for the help he’s given. Shri Dada pointed to this, “Look, in our own holy text we don’t have this exclusiveness which has gradually built up.” But he was attacked for this. On one occasion he was thrown into prison on a serious charge which was engineered. I should say this, that about the so-called Caste System. Caste is a Portuguese word. It’s the same as the English word chased but it meant- well, Megasthenes, who was the Greek ambassador in India, he was there for six or seven years in 300BC. He doesn’t report any slaves in India. He doesn’t report the untouchable class at all. He reports that the people were honest. A rich man …

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Marionettes and Free Agents

  https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/MarionettesandFreeAgents.mp3   The word ‘Gita’ means sung, and the full title of the Gita is the Upanishads, the ancient spiritual text sung by the Lord. They were sung for the benefit of people still fully involved and engaged in the world; the Upanishadic seekers of truth, of calm, in a calm environment, as if they were in a scientific laboratory. The principles are discovered in a scientific laboratory, but then they have to be applied outside. We can study gravity best in an isolated environment, preferably with a vacuum. But then, once the principle is established, we can see gravity at work, even in the autumn leaves carried into the sky. Gravity is still at work there. Once the principle has been established, we’re able to recognise it, in the same way that spiritual truth is established in calmness. But it has to be recognised, also, in the tumult …

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People who can’t see the great self

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Peoplewhocan'tseethegreatself.mp3   This yoga is given for people who can’t see, who can’t get a glimpse of the great self, which is declared first. Then, in chapter three, the teacher develops this further. He explains that, ‘For those who can catch a glimpse of the great self, then the means is to make that continuous and free from obstruction. But to those who can’t, they have to perform the actions with a mind serene. They have to practice indifference for the opposites of good and bad, as they seem to us, and pain and pleasure.’ Then he says, ‘You will not be able to do this, unless you practice yoga meditation.’ He tells Arjuna, “You will not be able to control the senses unless you practice yoga meditation. You won’t be able to control your thoughts unless you practice meditation.” This is repeated again in the 18th chapter, which says, …

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By practice the great Self can be seen

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/BypracticethegreatSelfcanbeseen.mp3   Well, this instruction is given to Arjuna, but he’s not able to actualise it. He says, “Frankly, it’s impossible. You can’t bring the mind to a stop.” Here, again, Shankara has pointed out that he speaks for the people, and Krishna said, “Impossible? Difficult, but by regular practice, practice at regular times, long continued, then it can be done.” But Arjuna still isn’t convinced at all. He does something which all teachers of all subjects know when there’s a sort of will to fail. He said, “Well, what happens if I don’t manage to pull it off? I’ll have wasted a lot of time, won’t I? I won’t have got that, and then there are all the things in the world I might have been doing, and I won’t have done them either.” Teachers all know this. Krishna meets it patiently, and he says, “Well, if you make …

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Teaching of devotion

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Teachingofdevotion.mp3   After the vision, there is a teaching of devotion, and it changes again. We can think, “Well, what are all these new secrets and teachings which are given?” One example that’s given is this: that the yoga teaching is not a question of ordinary teaching, where you teach, first of all the alphabet, and then, on that, you build sentences. Then, on the sentences, you build more difficult sentences. Then you learn something about style, where each one depends on the one below.  It’s not like that, because it’s not a question of building up something, but it’s a question of removing an illusion. One of the teacher says, “It’s much easier to get rid of a burglar than a ghost, because you can call on your friends if you think there’s a burglar. They come, and they search the whole house. Then you lock and you bar …

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The last Confucian sage was Wang Yang-ming

The last Confucian sage was Wang Yang-ming, a universal genius who as a Minister occasionally commanded military campaigns. A master strategist and tactician, he lost very few men. On one occasion, before an imminent battle, he made his dispositions and then in his tent began a lecture to his staff officers on strategy. The fighting began and after a time a courier rushed into the tent to report that the enemy had made a breach in the right wing of Wang’s forces. The officers jumped up in excitement, but Wang waved them back into their seats remarking: “The possibility has been foreseen, they know what to do,” and continued the lecture. Again after a time another courier arrived to say that the enemy had been completely routed. Again the officers rose in excitement but Wang made them sit down and calmly finished his lecture. This famous incident from 15th century …

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Bhagavad Gita 03.04.1991

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/BhagavadGita03041991.mp3   Trevor Leggett:   Well, I don’t propose to do a sort of scamper through the text with academic footnotes, but I will try and say something on a few of the main points in the Gita and some things that will actually be useful. It is very easy to read these texts like one of those sort of nodding, Chinese, Mandarins, “Yes,  It means something, I expect, yes.” There are riddles and mysteries, and Shankara says, “By concentration, and by stilling the mind, and by purifying the essence, the basis of the mind, these things will stand out clearly.” Now I propose to mention some of the practices, which are just hinted at in the text itself. But, before I start, to give you a few hints that might be useful to you about the so-called ‘Eastern mind’. Well, there is no Eastern mind. The mind or the culture …

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There is a self which is immortal

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Thereisaselfwhichisimmortal.mp3    In another Upanishad, a great seer makes a declaration which is heard by many. “There is a self which is immortal, undecaying, unchanging. When that is attained, all is attained.” Then the King of the Gods and the King of the Demons each hear this and they come together to the sage. Putting aside their hatred of each other, they study as fellow disciples. But it is still a calm atmosphere. There was nothing for somebody who was furiously engaged in the world, in the crisis of the world. The whole tendency seems to be that you – anyway for a time – have to leave the world. The King of the Gods and the King of the Demons, it says, put aside all their royal rank and insignia and they went. They became servants, in effect, for a year. Now the Gita is translated generally as ‘the …

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Reincarnation is beautiful doctrine

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Reincarnationisbeautifuldoctrine.mp3   “What I do in this life, and have done in past lives, will determine the circumstances in which I find myself in the next life. Then the choices I make in the next life will determine the circumstances of the one after that. So that by repeated efforts I can improve and become more free and have more choice and more vision.” Yes, it is a most beautiful doctrine. And if it is well presented one can believe it for about half an hour. And if it is extremely well presented one can believe it for half a month. And if it is brilliantly presented you can believe it for half a year. Then you start thinking, “How do they know? It does account for the unevenness and inequalities in the world. It does inspire us to make efforts. But how do they know?” Well then the Gita …

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Strong passions and fears

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Strongpassionsandfears.mp3   The second point is that what’s called vairagya. Vai is a negative prefix and ragya means passion, roughly. It is perhaps connected with the word rage, but it is not only anger. It means a strong passion for something or strong fear of something. Now this is constantly coming up, it is said, from our past animal inclinations. It is constantly coming up and it has to be eased. Now one of the things is, again, to learn to get space in life. Especially one sees it now with the credit cards. People have no space in their life. And they don’t want a space either. “I want it now. Well, I can have it now.” Then I will be paying for it over the next six months. But when I have had it for two or three months I am fed up with it. So most people …

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Two Ships

 Emperor Kiso of the T‘ang Dynasty in China once made a visit to the Kinzanji temple on the Yangtze River. At the temple the scenery is exceptionally fine, and the throne was set at the top of the temple tower, giving the best view of the river. The emperor was conducted to his seat. He saw on the great river countless boats, some going up and some going down, some to the right and some to the left, so that it might almost have been mistaken for the sea. He was overjoyed to see the prosperity of the country he ruled: trade and commerce thus flourishing—what we should call today a fully developed country. At his side was standing the abbot of the temple, Zen master Obaku, and the emperor remarked to him: “How many flying sails on the river, I wonder?” In other words, how many ships would there …

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Categories Zen

The mother of mencius

 Mencius was the second Confucian sage, the second one after Confucius but perhaps even a greater man. His mother was a woman of realisation. She was a weaver, a very good one. She had this little boy. When he was 5 or 6 she took him to school and introduced him there and left him there and came back. It was summer and she was in the open air in the garden and she was beginning to weave a very beautiful brocade. It was a small piece as yet but it already looked beautiful. The boy didn’t like the school and he left school and went back home. When he returned she looked up and saw the boy. She picked up a knife and slashed the brocade she just began and said: ‘I have done the same as you have’. The boy turned and went back to school. He became …

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Categories Zen

The Peony Temple

There is a temple in Japan known as the Peony Temple. For centuries, this temple has grown tree peonies in its spacious garden; then these all blossom together it is one of the famous sights of the region. In the late Middle Ages, an army general had to deal with a local uprising. He crushed the so called brigands, capturing their leaders. He proposed to execute these publicly the next morning, after which he thought he would go to see the peonies at the Temple, then in their full glory. He sent a messenger to the Abbot to inform him of his proposed visit. The envoy presented himself and delivered his message. The Abbot made no comment, but beckoned him to follow. He went out into the garden, on the way picking up a little sickle. As they came up to the nearest peony, upright on its supporting stick, the …

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Categories Zen

Rainbow Worlds

‘Rainbow world’ is a phrase used by a great modern yogi, Swami Mangalnath.  He said we must learn not merely to think of, but to experience, the world as a beautiful rainbow.  Such things are analogies, but they are not to be dismissed as simply poetry. We are asked to think what they mean.  The rainbow is an appearance when the sun is low and the and it is raining.  The sky is full of water, and the rays of the sun are refracted and reflected in the raindrops, and come to our eyes when we are standing on the ground looking in a particular direction.  The rays appear in coloured bands:  red at the top, then orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet.  Always red is at the top, and there is a definite reason for this.  The raindrops can be analysed.  It is not worth going into it too …

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Moon in the Water

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/MoonintheWater.mp3   As Shankara says, “The reverence of words and bows can always be imitated.” The real reverence is to follow the teacher’s instructions for the Yoga training – and one of our teacher’s instructions was, before the Yoga meeting, to bring the attention between the eyebrows; to touch or pinch this point and then just to sit for half a minute or so, bringing the attention there – away from the outside objects, away from the inner memories and thoughts to the centre. OM The moon in the water is a familiar illustration and it is also a Yogic practice. Swami Rama Tirtha, a fellow disciple of our own teacher, used to take a little boat at night on the river Ragi and he would meditate on the reflection of the moon in the water. Our teacher referred to this also. In the Far East, the Atman, the True …

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Shankara on the sun in the water

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Shankaraonthesuninthewater.mp3   Shankara gives the sun in the water in Chapter 15, and he says there: “The sun shines in the pots of water.” This is the example, he says, of the Lord projecting Himself into many bodies As in the case of the moon in the water – you can capture the moon in the water. If you go out to the lake with a dipper you can capture the moon and carry it away if you hold it very steadily – but the moon is still there. So the many moons, or many suns in water pots as Shankara says – there are many, but in fact there is only one. In one of the translations that our teacher gave, Shankara said that the sun sent a part of himself into the pot, and it appears as though the sun is deep in the water. He said the …

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You will succeed in all you do

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Youwillsucceedinallyoudo.mp3   Rama Tirtha says, “You will succeed in all you do, if you can give up completely your desire, your wish, and you can say to the Lord, “This is your work. If you let me be successful, I’m pleased, if you make me fail, I’m pleased.” When you can give it up completely then you’ll be successful and like the merchant and the warrior. Rama Tirtha says this attitude has to be cultivated – not just done at a given time. Now our teacher occasionally made a comment about this. He said, “Two men coming out of a synagogue. One says triumphantly to the other, “Twenty-three percent!”; or two men coming out of a church saying, “Do mine with onions and apricots.” One thinks, “Oh yes – we’re not very devout here are we, but you take the Sufi dancers – they dance with one hand turned up …

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An illustration of the state of man

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+talks+from+12.06.20/Anillustrationofthestateofman.mp3   This is by Leonardo and of course there’s no text with it, it’s not been explained. But from the Yogic point of view it’s an illustration of the state of man. That’s to say, there is the sun of the Lord which is reflected from the clear mirror of the buddhi held by the sage, the Yogi. In the light of that one can see the animals are fighting. Now in the case of the ordinary man the animals are raging. In the case of the ordinary man too there is still this calm observing figure, this witness Self. But he is not conscious of it. The Yogic process is to take the conscious from the fighting animals, from identity with the passions, which conflict with each other, they fight each other. For instance, the desire for revenge fights against fear, that perhaps one will not be able …

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Leonardo Da Vinci’s drawing of the sun and mirror

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+Talks/Leonardo.mp3   The whole of our experience is lit by the reflection of the Self in us. It lights up all our mental movements and all our consciousness and lights up the whole of our life and thought and feeling. There is the Lord and then there is a reflection in the individual where the Lord enters the individual – and that lights up our whole internal body/mind complex. The passions and the memories and the various elements of our inner life and our outer life too are all lit. We would not be active. They would be inert, unless they were lit and vivified by the rays from this reflected consciousness. This is illustrated by this drawing. In the top left-hand corner there‘s a sort of stylised sun. It’s got these jagged rays coming from it, showing that it cannot be looked at. There are rays coming from the …

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Damascus 1977

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+Talks/Damascus1977.mp3   Trevor Leggett: We have to remember two distinct things, one are methods of training and the other is the objective. They are very distinct in methods of training, Zen and Vedanta. It’s not much use giving generalisations. It’s better to take a concrete instance. When your life is fairly easy and it doesn’t matter, well then you can do what you like and it doesn’t matter. But the time comes when we have to put our weight on something. Now as an example, suppose you have an accident or a severe illness, you go to a Zen teacher. The doctor tells you you’re probably going to die. You go to a Zen teacher. I’ll give you a case. I knew the daughter of the woman this happened to. She was practicing Zen. She went to her teacher and said, “The doctor says that my illness is unlikely to …

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Meditation on the navel

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+Talks/Meditationonthenavel.mp3   Female Questioner: Could you say a little more about the fact that Zen eliminates emotion and yoga tends to cultivate? Trevor Leggett: I didn’t say quite eliminates it but it doesn’t cultivate it so much. Look at the pictures of Bodhidharma. This partly is a convention that the meditation is at the navel point. Meditation on the navel brings the mouth into this. But it’s will. Look at the face of Bodhidharma for 10 minutes and you will see will. If you look very carefully, you might see something else but the main point is will. When we face death, that’s emotion. When we are strongly tempted, that’s emotion. When somebody spits in my face, that’s emotion. There was a painter of the invisible and he was asked to paint the human heart. He flicked the ink on the man’s face and then he quickly sketched these blazing …

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Yaza is real devotion

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+Talks/Yazaisrealdevotion.mp3   In Japan especially but in the Chinese tradition too, they have what’s called hidden virtue. This is the only virtue that counts according to some of the Zen masters. The virtue that anybody knows about is nothing. It just doesn’t count. One of the stories is Honen. He was one of the great leaders of the movement for singing the mantra of the Buddha of Light. They went through the villages of Japan and a great wave of devotion came over the people. Now, he came to a village and they used to chant in the street, the mantra of light. There was a thief and one of his underlings watching. The young apprentice thief was rather impressed with these people. The thief said, “I don’t like it. They say this is devotion to Buddha, don’t they? But it isn’t. Supposing I fell in love with a woman, …

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Not in Samadhi all the time

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+Talks/NotinSamadhiallthetime.mp3   Male Questioner: Can I ask for comments, Mr. Leggett, on a question which very frequently occurs, what are the differences between individual meditation and group meditation? You did just briefly touch on that. Trevor Leggett: Well again, it depends on people and it also depends on the stage that people are at. It’s a bit like physical exercise. When people do anything at the beginning, they are full of, “Oh well of course my arms have always been…,” and, “Of course I can’t do that. This movement doesn’t suit me.” Well that takes months or years to die down. Some people never get over it. But if they do train, well then in the end they find they can all do what’s to be done. When they do that, then the teacher looks at them with quite a different eye and then you can see in them, then …

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The glories of Zen in Japan

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+Talks/ThegloriesofZeninJapan.mp3   Male Questioner: Have you read one of the Lives of Ramana? Trevor Leggett: Well I have read one but actually I don’t want to discuss him because my teacher didn’t. He based it on the Gita, which his teacher was a follower. That was what he taught us. Male Questioner: Could we ask you how you view sport as a form of life training, if it’s-? Trevor Leggett: Well on this point, it trains will and it trains non-attachment. If we learn those two things, we’ve learnt two very valuable lessons for yoga, very, very valuable. Male Questioner: How is it, in your own personal experience, when you’re suppressing emotion? How does the person cope with that? A normal person has emotion and if you eliminate it, does it find itself another form? Is it channelled in another way or is it completely cut dead? Trevor Leggett: In …

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Disillusionment in society

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+Talks/Disillusionmentinsociety.mp3   Male Questioner: You’ve told us, Mr. Leggett, that it is very customary in Zen to involve oneself in various creative techniques and perhaps sporting techniques as part of one’s training so that the body and various aspects of the self are cultivated and coordinated. You’ve worked with a distinguished Vedantist, Adhyatma yogi. Now, from time to time one does come across a Vedantist who will affirm, “Do not waste your time on Hatha yoga. Do not waste your time on working with the body. Do not waste your time on physical considerations. The only thing that matters is liberation which is attained through meditation. Therefore abnegate everything else, concentrate solely upon meditation.” That attitude will leave no room say for the assiduous practice of judo. Have you ever reflected on those two viewpoints? Trevor Leggett: Yes, some people can do this but not very many. No scope for …

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Yoga and Zen in Christianity

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+Talks/YogaandZeninChristianity.mp3   Germany, before the war with Hitler, was in the front rank of science. Now they knew perfectly well that this Aryan myth of Aryan superiority was scientifically nonsense. They’d got the best scientists perhaps in Europe but the people didn’t want to listen to them and didn’t listen to them. It’s like music, you can’t make people like Beethoven. You can play it. If people go on listening to music, in the end they will come to Beethoven but they’ll start with Johann Strauss. We must study these elements in yoga and Zen which poor people can do. We mustn’t have magnificent services or huge buildings or own a lot of property. When Buddhism was very strong in China, the emperors wanted to smash it periodically. Now all the sects had big temples and the relics of the Indian founders were in those temples. To be ordained a …

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Universal Law

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+Talks/UniversalLaw.mp3   Trevor Leggett: Our teacher sometimes quoted the last lines of verses by a late Victorian poet, Henley. ‘Out of the night that covers me, dark as the pit from pole to pole, I thank whatever gods there be for my unconquerable soul. It matters not how strait the gait, how charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul’. When we hear these words, provided we are reasonably comfortable, there is a tendency to sit back in the stall, so to speak, and go, “Bravo. Magnificent defiance of death.” But of course we don’t take it as real. He has long been dead. And the cynics say, “It was a puppy barking bravely in front of a steamroller. Was he master of his fate?” But our teacher quoted them. These were not to be word clouds, sometimes magnificent …

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Theories cannot actually be lived through

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+Talks/Theoriescannotactuallybelivedthrough.mp3   P.G Woodhouse used to write little comic stories about the perfect manservant, Jeeves, who was much better educated and far more intelligent than his master, the amiable chump Bertie Wooster. On one occasion Wooster is talking to Jeeves. He says, “[A man is a man , Jeeves, happy, sad, in spite of everything.” And Jeeves coughs. Bertie says, “What is it, Jeeves?” And Jeeves said, “Well, Sir. It is only that the poet, Burns…” And Bertie says, “Forget Burns, Jeeves. Clear the tablet of your mind of the poet Burns, Jeeves.” And Jeeves says, “Very good, Sir.” Now, in a little bit the same way we are told, “Oh, yes,” and then we negate the whole superimposition of the world. All its pain. All its changes. We just negate it. “Very good, Sir.” But it does not happen. Jeeves does not forget the poet Burns. But he says, …

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Teach me Brahman

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+Talks/TeachmeBrahman.mp3   In the Upanishad, a boy goes to his father, who is a sage, and he says, “Revered sir, father, teach me Brahman.” He has also done considerable study. He knows about Brahman, and the desire for liberation, for freedom, has arisen in him. Well, the father gives him five doors. The body made of food, vital energy, ear, eye, mind. “These are doors,” he said. “We have to go through a door. Not stand in front of it but go through it.” Then he says to him, “That from which the whole universe has come forth, by which it is sustained, into whom it is finally dissolved. This is the definition of brahman.” But he does not say, “Now you know.” He says, “Seek to know that. Try to know that.” Then the boy, the young disciple, sits down and practices tapas. Which literally means austerity, but in …

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Ananda spoke to the Buddha

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+Talks/AnandaspoketotheBuddha.mp3   Ananda, who was Buddha’s attendant, and it was always popularly supposed that because he was the Buddha’s attendant he must be full of the wisdom of the Buddha. Actually, it was not so. He was the only disciple who did not attain realisation in the Buddha’s lifetime but only afterwards. Ananda said to the Buddha, “What did he get? You did not tell him anything.” And the Buddha is said to have replied, “A good horse goes at even the shadow of the whip.” Now, the Gita has a definite programme of Karma Yoga, which is the lower form of tapas. Then it says, ‘He has to try to discover the witness self’. In the thirteenth chapter, which is one of the chapters on knowledge, the field is described. ‘This body is the field. He who knows it is called the field-knower’. This does not mean that part …

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Rainbow worlds of Swami Mangalnath

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+Talks/RainbowworldsofSwamiMangalnath.mp3 The ‘rainbow world’ is a phrase used by a great modern Yogi, Swami Mangalnath. He said we must not merely think of it, but experience the world as a beautiful rainbow. These are analogies, but they’re not to be dismissed as simply poetry. They can be gone into a little bit. No analogy can be pursued too far. Think what it means. A rainbow is an appearance. When the sun is low and it has been raining, or is raining, the sky is full of water and then the rays of the sun are refracted and reflected in the raindrops and they come to our eye, standing on the ground, in bands. The bands are always in a fixed order – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet. Always the red is at the top. There is a definite reason for this. The raindrop can be analysed (it’s not …

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Quantum reality and Yoga analysis

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+Talks/QuantumrealityandYogaanalysis.mp3 Physics had another earthquake in 1982 and this ‘Quantum Reality’ book was written in 1986. We’ll read this single sentence from it: “Bell’s theorem shows that although the world’s phenomena seem strictly local, the reality beneath this phenomenal surface must be beyond the speed of light. The world’s deep reality is maintained by invisible quantum connection whose alternating interval is unmediated, unmitigated and immediate.” It’s just worth noting – it proves nothing yogic. Scientists conduct their own experiments and it is they who should interpret these experiments, but they’re worth reading to show that the Yoga analysis is not ridiculous in modern terms. On the contrary it is seriously considered today by physicists, especially since 1982. The world has a phenomenal reality which is not the deep reality and, in the same way, name and form appear to us and they’re based on something which is much deeper. Now …

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The basis of physics burst wide open

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+Talks/Thebasisofphysicsburstwideopen.mp3 Every hundred years materialism shouts ‘I’ve got it!’ And it does seem – it seemed a hundred years ago that almost everything was known. They believed that – and then there was a great burst of the quantum theory by Plank in 1900, then Einstein, the photo-electrical effect and relativity (which he got his Nobel prize for). The whole basis of physics burst wide open and this has now happened again, though the echoes are still going round. But the reasoning should be noted very carefully. Now this is by a famous philosopher of science, Dr Karl Popper. He pointed out in one of the things he said in his famous book, Conjectures and Refutations, that this idea of inspiration revealing truth is completely false. “For instance, the marvellous theory of Bohr and Kramers in 1924 was almost immediately refuted by the experiment conducted by Geiger and others. This …

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World as an illusion

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+Talks/Worldasanillusion.mp3   There’s a hospital in Tokyo which treats cases, which are becoming more and more numerous, of a sort of nervous collapse from over-work. Some of them in, for instance, broadcasting, they go on the air at three in the morning and come off duty at nine o’clock that evening. They snatch five hours sleep and then they’re on again. That can go on for three or four days running. So some of them collapse and there have been some cases of death. Everybody gets very nervy in Japanese companies, and there’s a hospital which specialises in treating these things. The director is not at all interested in spiritual things, in Zen, or anything like that. But he said that one of the things that he does for the patients who come in for two or three months (he has a long style of treatment) is that he teaches …

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Powerful effects of the unreal

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+Talks/Powerfulaffectsoftheunreal.mp3   We can say, “Oh, surely, intelligent people are not affected by these things – but they are. We can see, if we look at history, a novel like Goethe’s Sorrows of Young Werther was followed by a wave of suicide and there was pre-war a popular song called ‘Gloomy Sunday’, an extremely powerful piece of music. It was forbidden to be played on the continent, whether it was forbidden here, I don’t know – but it was also followed by suicide. People knew it was unreal, but nevertheless they were powerfully affected by it. And we can say “Well, see the world as a beautiful rainbow.” We know the rainbow’s unreal, but we enjoy it. Our teacher said adapting it to the play – still to take part in the play but to know that it’s unreal, that one is an actor in it. One can say, “Well, …

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Yogas of the Gita are Yogas for when life is in crisis

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+Talks/YogasoftheGitaareYogasforwhenlifeisincrisis.mp3   Yogas of the Gita are Yogas for when life is in crisis. We can think, “My life isn’t in crisis,” but perhaps it is. One of the illustrations that are given in one of the Japanese texts is this: you can get a forest of trees, and the branches interlace with each other, so they hold each other up – the trees – and the whole thing looks very stable. Many of the roots become very weak, but the trees still look very firm. It’s like a table: a lot of legs. The trees are almost dead. It still looks very firm. They hold each other up. Suddenly, there’s a storm and the whole lot goes down. Our society can be like that, and our lives can be like that. Each part holds the other part up, and yet nowhere is there any actual root. There’s no root …

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What does ‘non-attachment to the results’ mean?

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+Talks/Whatdoesnon-attachmenttotheresultsmean.mp3 What does this actually mean in practice? People feel, “Well, I’ve got to sweep the room. If I don’t have a catchment to the fruits, I won’t care whether I sweep it properly or not. I’ll leave some mud there. What does it matter? I’m not attached to the results.” No, that’s not sweeping. To be able to do it very carefully, sweep it up beautifully. What does ‘non-attachment to the results’ mean? A Jesuit father of novices, the teacher of the novices, he told me one of the final tests is that the novice is given a floor and he’s told to… Stone floor. He’s told to swab it, scrub it absolutely spotless. It takes him two or three hours and it’s gleaming. Then the master of novices comes in and looks at it. “Ah,” he says. He puts his hand outside, and he’s got a bucket of …

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The first element in Karma Yoga

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+Talks/ThefirstelementintheKarmaYoga.mp3 We go to the country. What a beautiful scene, marvellous, but people who live there, they just look. What’s happened? If we stay there for a week, we don’t see it anymore. Something’s coming between, a perception: “Yes, I know about that. That’s of no interest.” All the zest and the life has gone out of that experience, but yoga will bring it back if we practise it. The first element in the Karma Yoga is to become independent of the success, or failure, or what they call the ‘fruits’. That doesn’t mean the effect, the immediate effect, but it means the ultimate fruits, like people thanking you. Fruit takes time. If you plant a tree, the effect is that the tree is standing up, but the fruits come much later, don’t they? I’m thinking about the fruits that will make my planting of the tree much less efficient …

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There should be some creative expression

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+Talks/Thereshouldbesomecreativeexpression.mp3 To give one more example – and this was something that actually happened – an extremely orthodox Englishman who’d been brought up to restrain any expression of emotion, he became a Yogi. The teacher approved of his reserve but said that there should be some creative expression. He got him to act in amateur theatricals and to do some public speaking. This disciple had a mother who was very sceptical, and the subject of religion came up. Though she’d been, of course, baptised a Christian, but she used to dismiss it with a few sarcastic remarks. She’d got some vague idea he was connected with some weird Oriental cult, although he never spoke of it, but she recognised he was a good son to her, so she didn’t pursue it. Then, when she was… She became very ill, and she was dying, and he took her into his home …

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Inspiration in Science

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+Talks/Inspiration+in+science.mp3 We’re more impressed in this part of the world with inspiration in science. We think, “Artistic inspiration, well, who’s to say if a thing is good or bad? But in the Far East they’re more likely to say, “In science, scientific inspiration, you might guess, mightn’t you? But no-one can fake a masterpiece of calligraphy.” Well, however it might be. If we take an example… There’s a new biography of Rutherford, who confirmed the so-called ‘solar system structure’ of the atom. It has just come out. He was a man who had many of these qualities of a Yogi. He worshipped science as a god. A foreign visitor to his laboratory pointed out to him, said, “You know you could patent some of these discoveries you’re making, and make a fortune?” He said, “Rutherford jumped to his feet and the visitor escaped.” He said, “I thought I was going …

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Meditation and prolonged silence of the soul

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Talks/Meditation+and+prolonged+silence+of+the+soul.mp3   Trevor Leggett: You’re practising meditation and you know that there are these stages first where the meditation has to be supported, dharma from dhri, to support. You have to hold the meditation up, and then you forget about it and it drops, then you have to hold it up again. Then you forget about it and it drops, then you have to hold it up again. Then you forget all about anything. The time comes and you go deeper into that, then you begin to have a stream of thoughts about it. You won’t then need to make an effort. You’ll have a stream of similar thoughts about it like pouring oil unbrokenly, after a long time of practise. The time will come when the movement of the thought, these similar thoughts, will stop and the object will blaze out, will become radiant. Not that he’s creating it …

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Zen & Gita Q&A 1 01.08.1984

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Q%26A/Zen+%26+Gita+Q%26A+1+01.08.1984.mp3 Trevor Leggett : The main thing from a yogic point of view is to practice ourselves, and without attempting to teach, or anything like that. There will be a communication if we really try. If you drive a car well, people with either imitate you or not, but the main thing is to drive the car well. And a good driver does have an effect on, I suppose on the road traffic in general. And the main point of the yoga is not a deliberate idea of communicating so much as himself to bring to life these texts in his own behaviour and his own vision. Question: I have some relatives who are clergymen, and I had in mind very much the fate of clergymen’s families, so often stay away from the living “The bishop’s daughter is the actress, you know.” Trevor Leggett: So that happens all over the …

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Zen & Gita Q&A 2 01.08.1984

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Q%26A/Zen+%26+Gita+Q%26A+2+01.08.1984.mp3 Question: I wonder, Mr Leggett, when someone who is fervently religious wishes to cut off the head of someone whose religious views differ from his own, what is active within him? Is it religion? Or is it something other than religion? Trevor Leggett It’s generally a sort of herd instinct, isn’t it? I mean, it just happens to have a religious name to it. But it’s like the tribe instinct, or something like that. With some of the very fanatical religious people, if you ask them about what they actually do believe, they’re pretty vague. But they know the slogans. The story is one of a usurping king, who, by a trick, claimed the whole kingdom, and ruled extremely badly. Well the righteous king had been tricked out of the kingdom, you see? So in the end, after many peace negotiations that they tried to get back by legitimate …

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Creativity in Science and Art

Why is it that with an artist we expect that there will be a development? For instance, take the case of Wagner: until he was forty, until Lohengrin, he was still tending to write operas in the old style, that is to say with set pieces. In his forties he began with the Rheingold, the first part of the famous Ring cycle, to write something on completely different lines. He’d worked out his new theories in the prose works, opera and drama and others, and he began to write a continuous stream of music in which the orchestra played as important a part as the voice. With Beethoven we can recognise the first period, the second period and the third period, and we rate the third period as of the highest inspiration. But very often in the history of science it seems to be the reverse; the man does his …

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The nature of inspiration

Go out of the cage and you are inspired, go into the cage again and you are no more.  Here is a beautiful watch, suppose. It is in working order and running day and night; it gets magnetized, it comes close to a strong magnet, the iron springs are magnetized. The watch cannot run, it is useless now, it gives us no time. What shall I do with it? Let the watch be buried underground. keep it away from the magnetic influences, keep it away from these influences, it will be demagnetised, it will regain its original working  power, and you can use it again. Beneath your minds, your inner Self is heavenly, is godly. Every child is by nature an inspired child; every child is by nature a poet, and if you  live in accordance with divine laws, if you live in harmony with Divinity, you are always inspired. …

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Glory in the Great Religions

The great religions of the world, if they are gone into, have a mystical side which is not far removed one from the other. It is reasonable to say that in certain religions the full glory of some facet shows itself.  For instance, in Christianity the full glory of service has shown itself, there is service in Buddhism but not the great Orders of service, such as the Jesuit Order which has educated half the world (including many communists). Again, it had never struck me before but a foreigner pointed out to me that many of our hospitals are named after saints: St Mary’s, St Bartholomew’s.  Which shows that originally they were religious foundations. I had never noticed it before but it is true, they were, so we can say that, in Christianity, the glory of service has really shown itself.       One of the glories that has shown itself in …

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Narayana Prasad (Shri Dada)

Narayana Prasad, later known as Shri Dada, was born in a rich family in Moradabad, a city of the United Provinces. He was a Brahmin, or member of the highest caste. In early youth he met his guru, Swami Krishnanandaji, and devoted himself entirely to his service. The young man’s father strongly disapproved, because he wished his son to live the life of an aristocrat; in the end he disinherited him and refused to see him again. Shri Dada would not take his worldly troubles to his guru, and spent some months penniless, living in the woods. Later he got a post as a clerk at the railway station, and in this way supported himself, remaining in the service for the rest of his life. He gave himself with undivided will to the personal service of his guru and to the mystic practices he was taught, and obtained the final …

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The Upanishads are like flashes of lightning

PLEASE NOTE WE HAVE YET TO ADD THE AUDIO The first two verses of the Kena Upanishad are: By whose will and direction does the mind move? Under whose orders· does the vital force (prana:) move? Whose will is it that causes men to speak?. Whose light directs the eye and the ear? The answer to this great enquiry is given in the following verse.  It is the ear of the ear, the mind of the mind, the tongue of the tongue, the life of the life and the eye of the eye. The wise, relieved of the erroneous notion, become immortal when they have left this body I should just say these are things which I’ve heard from my teacher, my own teacher. They’ve helped me and I’ll pass them on. The Kena Upanishad begins with a question: by whom or by what? The Upanishads are like revelations, ecstatic, …

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The Spur is addressed to a samurai who has faith

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+Talks/TheSpurisaddressedtoasamuraiwhohasfaith.mp3   “The Spur” is the title of an essay by Torei who was a disciple of Hakuin in Japan in the eighteenth century. He wrote the essay “The Spur” in about 1755 and it is addressed to a samurai who has faith. Torei got it approved by Hakuin and then it was published. The samurai by this time had become the administrators of the country. They weren’t just warriors although they still carried the two swords. The word, the Chinese character for ‘samurai’ which is used by him, also means a scholar and the character, for instance, is used today as the last character of an academic distinction, like a doctorate, a hakusei, and ‘sei’ is this word for what originally meant a samurai, a warrior and came to mean a man of culture and learning. It’s called “The Spur for the good horse”, and this is the fundamental …

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The doctrine that everything is transient

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+Talks/Thedoctrinethateverythingistransient.mp3   One of the Buddhist doctrines to enable this to be done is the doctrine that everything is transient, everything is passing, and he says we suffer from things because they simply pass away. If you hang on to the things you find while the karma is favourable they look solid enough and then when it turns they’ve gone and there’s nothing there. You can learn something from the people of the world of this. For instance, one man that I knew was an athlete and clever and took great trouble over his personal appearance. He was very  attractive to women. He was always falling in love but he used to say, “And, it’ll only last three months and then I’ll get bored and fed up with her but,” he said, “even in those three months, I always have another one or another two.” I said “What?” “Well, you …

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The facing inward of the Buddhas

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+Talks/ThefacinginwardoftheBuddhas.mp3   (Torei:) “However clingingly attached we are to this temporary abode, we cannot expect it to last forever. To realise the four noble truths, that all is passing, painful, empty and without a self and to seek the way of Bodhi intelligence is what is called the Dharma. Then the third point is purely its effort. That you have to make strong efforts. How to search? You have to search. You must make clear and then enlighten the root in you. How is it to be made clear? You must search after your true nature. How to search? In seeing, in hearing sounds, in the distinctions of heat and cold, in the consciousness of right and wrong. This seeing, hearing and knowing are the root of the practice. The ordinary man sees colours and is deluded by colours, hears voices and is deluded by voices, feels heat and cold …

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Keep up the right line of the meditation

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+Talks/Keepuptherightlineofthemeditation.mp3   It’s been said, Western music tends to be a prelude to the presto at the end and everything else is leading up to the last variation of the set of variations where there’s going to be an athletic performance by the pianist and I’m afraid it’s true that in a lot of our compositions, there is an athletic performance at the very end, but this is a wrong view. The piece is a whole. At the end of the Beethoven’s 7th are these waves of bliss. It’s a wonderful experience to hear them, but if we sit throughout the symphony waiting, thinking ‘well, soon now we will be coming to these great waves of bliss’, then we miss the second movement which is one of Beethoven’s greatest works of genius. This is the one where at the first rehearsal, the players stood up and cheered when they first …

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You practise with courage and sincerity

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+Talks/Youpractisewithcourageandsincerity.mp3   He (Torei) says that you must practise, not avoiding confrontations and not deliberately creating them either, but taking them on when they come. “You practise with courage and sincerity. It is when things are disturbed, you must realise that now is the time to go to the field of battle and then you will be able to decide things”, and he says if you defeat your greed and your fear and your power love and your pride at these times, then you have actually conquered them. You have actually won, but while you remain in a state of safety from them, you don’t know whether you have conquered them or not. Now, this text was for Samurai scholars. He doesn’t talk so much about the training for Zen monks, but he says little enlightenment, in fact, obstructs great enlightenment. If you give up the little enlightenments and don’t …

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The Cat and the Krait

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+Talks/The+Cat+and+the+Krait.mp3   It is very difficult with our ordinary mind, and Torei makes this point, which is covered with this grease and slimy and sticky attachment to be able to see things clearly and to act clearly. As an example, this is a personal experience I had which quite impressed me. I lived in India for some years and at one time, well over a year, on the outskirts of Old Delhi and there was a place called Cavalry Line. There were stables, fields all around, but there weren’t any horses anymore but there were still the stables and next door there was a big nature reserve on which no shooting was allowed, so it was semi-wild. There were cats there and they wouldn’t come in the house but they would sometimes show up for food occasionally when the tenant of the house was well-disposed to them. Well, we had …

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The Confucian and Bertrand Russell

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+Talks/The+Confucian+and+Bertrand+Russell+.mp3   The Chinese Confucian would have thought that somebody like Bertrand Russell was an absolute fool because he deliberately chopped away at the basis of what he called false superstitious beliefs and left the ordinary man with nothing to guide him. Russell had his own ideals; they were highly abstract. The Confucian would have regarded Russell as very foolish. Russell says, “Well, they’re unhelpful and often destructive superstitions. Of course, you can have the sight of the worship of God. You could have other forms of worship. For instance: this – I think I have always felt that there were two levels. One, that of science and common sense and another: terrifying, subterranean and periodic, which in some sense held more truth than the everyday view. You might call this Satanic mysticism. I’ve never been convinced of its truth but at moments of intense emotion it overwhelms me”. Well, …

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Picture of Bodhidharma

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+Talks/Picture+of+Bodhidharma.mp3   It’s very unusual. It’s got long black hair and there are some Taoist terms in this. I’ve told you about the dark and the bright circle and on the extreme right it says, “Nine years he cultivated, he turned, he revolved the Tan, elixir energy. Well, this refers to the mysterious Taoist practice in the text that I’ve got. It’s got many of the same phrases in it and this is Bodhidharma as a monk in much more traditional guise but you can still see a bulb at the navel and the power comes up and you can see the dark circle of ‘I don’t know’ and within that the bright circle of realisation. You’ll notice that the figure is very bent forward and this, as a matter of fact, is characteristic of Hakuin’s paintings and also Torei’s drawings. If you look at his pictures of Daito or …

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The Yogin and the Magician

An adhyatma yogin fell in with a magician travelling the same path, and the magician said to him: `Your yoga is only words. At the end you are only what you were before.  You speak of removing limitations, but you cannot do it.  Now in our path, we do actually remove limitations;  we extend our powers.’ `But you do not remove the limitation of individuality,’ said the yogin, `and while that remains, though you may think you remove some physical limitations, others will be imposed on you, perhaps unconsciously.’  `If they are unconscious, what would it matter?’ retorted the magician.  `Anyhow, we shall see.’   They came to a river, and could not see any boat.  The magician stood on the bank, muttering certain syllables again and again.  His body began to tremble, and his aspect changed:  he looked as light as a feather.  He threw his straw hat on …

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Spiritual River in the human heart – Part two Q and A

Question: You made mention at the beginning of your lecture about the Zen part of it. I am not very much acquainted with Zen but know enough to be mystified by it. You tell me there is a current within each of us – this appears to be an absurd statement – a statement which has no gospel or meaning. In Zen, I understand that the pupil is given a similar text, which has no meaning, like: ‘The sound of one hand’, and apparently the pupil goes away and cogitates on this, and at a given point later on seemingly some sort of realisation is actually achieved. Can you tell me about the mechanics – the nuts and bolts – of this? Answer: Well that is not the subject of the lecture. Question: No, but it does fall on to it. Answer: These riddles are found in all the traditions. …

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Categories Q&A

Karma yoga slowly unknots the tangle of identifications

The aim was to free the seemingly individualized consciousness completely from limitations of any particular body and mind in which it found itself encased. In the end there were two final stages: (1) conscious awareness of being an immortal unwavering witness-self (pratyag-atman), observing but untouched by body or mind, and then (2) being universal Self, the Lord who creates, maintains and withdraws the universe, according to a plan, by an illusory projection like a magic show. Before the final absorption, or expansion-to-infinity (both terms were used) of the individual self, it would become relatively free while still in the body. There would remain a theoretical difference from the universal Self; that remnant is inspired by Him till the body drops. The universal Self projected the universe and entered into it as the individual selves, voluntarily putting aside His sovereignty. The spark of universal Self in each impels them, obscurely, to …

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Judo Experience – Zen & More Stories

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+Talks/JudoExperience-Zen%26MoreStories.mp3   The judo teacher. He says, “You may get technical excellence, but it will be of no use to you as a training for life” . When we move from judo to life we have to be able to extend this. In a judo club it’s very important for all the members to take part. Not to have the accounts done by a chartered accountant who is a member, so that he takes over and does them marvellously and the ordinary members don’t do anything. No. The ordinary members too must take part in that, under his supervision, but they must take part in that. And you’ll get somebody who’s more or less fearless. For when it comes to accounts he says, “Oh I’ve never done that. Oh no I don’t think I could do that ! ” You say, “Come on, where’s that fighting spirit you’re always talking …

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Finding inspiration in everyday things

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+Talks/Findinginspirationineverydaythings.mp3   I’m a typist, what beauty and art is there in the white of the paper as it comes up? The miracle that when you press the key, the black on the paper. When you first see this , oh it’s wonderful. But after a few weeks you think, “Oh this blasted typewriter. I don’t like the touch” . What’s happened? We miss , something’s gone , we miss something. We think ‘well yes all right perhaps we’ve missed a bit of beauty, but what art is there in typing?’ There is an art. Typists can be artists. Before the days of Xerox’s, in a lawyer’s office sometimes it was necessary to make a copy of a carbon copy. An extra copy of a letter. And it had to be absolutely accurate in a lawyer’s office so every letter when it’s copied is then checked over verbally by two …

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Go into the peace of your practices

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+Talks/Gointothepeaceofyourpractises.mp3   Supposing I want to learn French. Right. I find a teacher, but I don’t like him. “Oh. Well, or, we’ll find you another teacher. Yes, we’ve found a very good one. Now, he could give you an hour on Tuesday, and another one on Thursday. But we always go round to the Grimsdalls on Tuesday and they come round to us on Thursday.” “Well, we’ll find you another teacher.” “Oh yes, I like him and we’ve got a free day. But he’s much too expensive’.” And in that way it all cancels itself out. But when the personality is brought together, those different elements will fit in. “Yes, a teacher I don’t like. Great mistake to think I can’t learn from a teacher I don’t like. Why not? And I’ll change my appointment on Tuesday and I’ll saw up a bit of my money that I waste on …

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The doctrine of the void

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+Talks/Thedoctrineofthevoid.mp3   In a Chinese family, the small boys, when they meet Grandpa, stand like this,  in front of him for his inspection. And one of the traditional things about a Chinese Grandfather is he, well some, a small boy comes up and stands like that, and the Grandfather gives him a piercing look, then he clouts him! A Westerner who saw this, he says that he said, “What’s he done?” So the Grandfather said, “I don’t know” . So the Westerner said, “What? You hit him and you don’t know what he’s done?” The Grandfather said, “No. I don’t know. But he knows.” Well, in the same way, some things happen to us in the world, absolutely unjustified. Our friends turn against us. Things that we’ve built up with great unselfishness and devotion are viciously kicked to pieces out of sheer jealousy and spite. Why has this happened? “I …

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From emptiness inspiration will come

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+Talks/Fromemptinessinspirationwillcome.mp3   The teacher told his pupils, “From emptiness, inspiration will come “. And they forgot it, except one who said, “What on earth does he mean?” He kept on asking the teacher. He said, “Well. All right. As you’re so persistent, prepare yourself.” He gave him a difficult ritual preparation to do for three weeks, then fast for two days, then come at dawn to the main hall which he did. The teacher was in full robes with a staff, and he came in  as a priest. The teacher drew himself up to what seemed more than possible height, and he crashed his staff down . He said, “I’ve something very important to tell you. Such an opportunity is very rare.” Well the disciple waited, then he realised, he thought, “Why doesn’t he tell me? What’s going on? Must mean something I suppose” . Then he realised all his …

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Trevor Leggett’s last talk – Scattering the Pearls 9 June 2000

A string of jewels, a string of pearls, is an image used in the Gita. The fact is that if pearls individually and scattered all over the place in dusty corners, have no beauty.    They are of no ornamental value, and of little other value.  But when they are brought together in a string they make a most beautiful necklace. They can be strung together in various ways.  If you see black pearls they are very valuable especially the big ones, but they look horrible. They look like ordinary pearls rinsed in ink, but they are very valuable.  Sometimes the necklace has a big black pearl and two or three ordinary pearls and another black pearl, sometimes all the black pearls are put together and are arranged in gradation of size.  There are many such ways of arranging them on a string to make a necklace. In the same way, …

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Categories TPL

A Summer School talk by Trevor Leggett 7 August 1985

The judo teacher. He says, “You may get technical excellence, but it will be of no use to you as a training for life” . When we move from judo to life we have to be able to extend this. In a judo club it’s very important for all the members to take part. Not to have the accounts done by a chartered accountant who is a member, so that he takes over and does them marvellously and the ordinary members don’t do anything. No. The ordinary members too must take part in that, under his supervision, but they must take part in that. And you’ll get somebody who’s more or less fearless. For when it comes to accounts he says, “Oh I’ve never done that. Oh no I don’t think I could do that ! ” You say, “Come on, where’s that fighting spirit you’re always talking about?” Oh …

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Categories TPL

Karma – Kill Not the Self

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+Talks/Karma-KillNottheSelf.mp3   A verse in the 13th chapter of the Gita, there’s a description of what is within man, the overseer, the approver, the experiencer, the supporter, the great Lord and also called the supreme self in the body. This is the great Purusha the great Lord. He says here, there’s an overseer of one who witnesses, who sees. There is also bhoktr, one who experiences. There’s one who supports and this is the great Lord, yet within the body. Shankara explains these as a riddle, in a sense. How could the great Lord be confined within the body? Now, one of the short answers is by karma, by the operation of a chain of causes and effects which are imagined, but, nevertheless, completely binding and they extend through many lives, as in this life, there’s childhood, maturity and old age, even so there is in the life to come. …

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Cohesion of the universe

https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tlayt.bucket1/Short+Talks/Cohesionoftheuniverse.mp3   Recently, now, it has been discovered that classical physics does not account for the cohesion of the universe, the benzene ring, classical physics can’t account for its stability. So, the gaps, although God has been driven into the gaps there, but gaps now are appearing in the middle of the explanation. If the new physics is right, these explanations are only tentative and transparent, in a way, because they are based on indeterminism. Now, the doctrine, of course, is a cause and effect applied to karma, is a little bit similar to the doctrine of cause and effect as applied in the world, in physics, for instance. We have an absolute flood of effects, causes and effects coming down here. There’s a flood coming down here. Now, most of these causal effects, these karmic effects don’t affect the present life. The present life has been put in these …

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