If I ever leave this world alive
The days of thy life are running from thee:
why dost thou vainly waste thy zeal on the things of the earth
and puttest behind thee all the things of heaven?
Thou hast spent thy life sunk in the worries and cares of the world,
working thyself into a decline through the pains and the sorrows.
Thou art a stranger housed in a body of the earth defiled:
How long therefore hast thou been heedless of what thou ignorantly doest?
Thou toilest all thy time to nourish thy body:
yet hast thou not worried, poor thing, in what way thou canst be saved.
Thou weepest and sheddest tears for a son or a friend dying:
yet thy own departing, the thought of it enters not into they heart.
Look therefore at that which is hidden from thee and see from today henceforth:
Lo, the way to travel is before thee; forget not thy departing.
Choose not the life of this body before eternal life:
put the fear of God in they heart and thou shalt live without toil.
Psalm CCLXV, MPB, p. 82 (From Davidson, 1995)
This site was intended to be a source of post-satori instruction. I had an awakening on June 12, 2018, and when it happened I found that there were no masters around to help me to continue moving forward. I did find excellent post-satori instruction in the great spiritual texts–the talks of Lester Levenson, Eckhart’s sermons, Guyon’s A Short Method of Prayer, the writings of Hakuin and the Diamond Sutra as a few examples–and so I decided to put some of the best ones together in one location. There are references at the foot of each post, so if you have a doubt about the accuracy of the text (since everything except Lester’s talks are translations) you don’t have to hunt around for the scholarly translation from which I copied it. You can also listen, on Youtube, to every talk Lester ever gave, which is like being able to listen the Buddha himself giving a discourse.
Another thing I wanted to do with the site was to share the method I used to gain my awakening. The Finder’s Course cost $2,500, but most of the exercises from the course can be found in Eleven practices to attain the first awakening. Two things from the Finder’s Course that are not in my post are a group awareness exercise, which I hated (I had to leave my group), and Jeffery Martin’s book, which you would be well advised not to read. One other thing that the Finder’s Course offers is a schedule: you are told to do certain things at the beginning of each week. Martin claims that the sequence is important. I would recommend the Finder’s Course to anyone who would find a sequenced schedule helpful–especially if you can’t afford $2,500, because making a financial sacrifice may be a good incentive for you to apply yourself.
In order to find out what you really are, the one infinite Self, your ego-self has to go. If you hope to be a happier and more successful ego, if you hope to stroll into the infinite hand-in-hand with your best friend, if you imagine that you will teach others, or even worse, market and sell yourself, you will fail. I absolutely guarantee it. Enlightenment is going beyond death before the body dies; in order to accomplish this you must forget about all people, all things, and all future plans for your ego-self.
On the other hand, your ego-self is going to die sooner or later. Therefore, you can keep trying to make something a ‘self’ that never really was, or you can decide to find out what you are while you still have the time. And wouldn’t it be better to spend the remainder of your life happy, with all questions answered, instead of being wracked by doubt, anxiety and sorrow? It is never too soon to begin to let go of the source of doubt, anxiety and sorrow–your ego.
The subject of the post was how best to use this site. If you have entered the stream, I don’t need to tell you what to read. If you have not yet entered the stream, I suggest that you first read “Hsin-hsin Ming.” It is forty verses long, so if you only read one post on a verse per day, it will take you less than forty days. Pay particular attention to Jeanne Guyon’s introduction to “prayer” (Do not labor to quiet your thoughts), which is an excellent guide to mindfulness meditation (as opposed to releasing, which you must also do). With Jeanne’s method you pick a sacred writing and you read a short passage from it. After reading the passage pause and focus your thoughts on what you have read for as long as possible. The text itself matters less than the fact that you aren’t thinking about other things. In this regard it is just the same as focusing on a koan, such as Chao Chou’s Wu or the Sound of One Hand Clapping. But because this is a meditative practice, it is best to use something simple, such as a stanza from a poem, a line of scripture, or Lester Levenson’s sayings.
After you have read Hsin-hsin Ming and have become familiar with some kind of meditation, I suggest you look over Eleven Practices. If you don’t understand the purpose of a practice, read a related post. Then, when you have a good grasp of why each practice is prescribed and how you are going to successfully do it, set aside three months of your life and become your glorious immortal Self.
Diana Barahona, January 2, 2020
Davidson, John (1995). The Gospel of Jesus: In Search of His Original Teachings. Element Books.