Winged Information: A Peer into the Mountaintop. ~ Donny Duke

Via on Mar 30, 2013

mountainyogaresized

I breathed out and that was it.

My in-breath and out-breath were suddenly the same, which amounts to saying I stopped breathing between breaths.

I hadn’t yet read the Bhagavad Gita (a principle Hindu scripture) on this point, and even if I had I wouldn’t have been prepared for the reality of its words. Then the heart made a few off beats and stopped too, but I hadn’t yet read Sri Aurobindo’s epic poem of the spiritual path Savitri in regards to this state and had no idea that something like that was even possible, and even if I had I wouldn’t have believed it just reading it.

girlbreathThose things were all well and good, or I should say, mind blowing in themselves, but the thing is, just before the breathing stopped (although it’s really like equal in and out-breath and not like breath has stopped, though there’s no intake and outtake), my mind had just shut off, stopped thinking entirely, what had triggered the breathing and the heart to do their thing in the first place.

Now, this silence was something I’d read about beforehand, in Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines, one of the first compilations done of that yoga translated into English, which had been my Bible for three months. I’d done a yoga intensive on my own so to experience for myself what all the fuss was about.

A thousand books could not have prepared me for the real thing: no thought, no I, no center on which to bank experience, no bottom, top, walls. Instead, only the vast in which the world floated in front of my eyes ,exposed as the imposter I’d sometimes suspected it was, how it appears in the silence that is.

Only I was no dummy; all was there, all knowledge, self-known, and I am sorry, but to describe that I can only say it was as though I was looking around the corner of my mind directly into infinity.

Stupid me, things got a bit weird, since I found myself suddenly shooting up my spine like a rocket God knows where (years later I would learn), something that was a bit much seeing that I wasn’t in meditation but driving a pickup-truck down the highway (action has always been part of my path), and so I just shook the fire out myself like a wet dog and turned the whole thing off, or turned it all back on, depending on how you see it, afterwards feeling every bit like Percival having seen the grail and not had enough sense to know to grab hold of the thing.

Spirituality is understood for the majority to mean more practices you do to stay mindful, healthy, than a radical process of inner realization and enlightenment.

A dodgy, confused tangle of aliens, angels and avatars that we now with a laugh call the New Age has cast shadows of being bogus on even the use of the word consciousness, how much more on talk of its transformation.

The information of this age comes in innumerable bits with no distinction made between trivia and essential knowledge, between what new gadget we have or how many more stars we can count and the ways in and up to that undiscovered about us, and the communication is by machine, with little or no real understanding of the difference between that and someone’s present face, the give and take of their eyes. The world carries on as if there is no spiritual reality presiding over the course of our lives, nothing more to us or special about us other than our dexterity in the process of natural selection.

Few see the underlying spiritual reality as the true face of existence, and most often when and if we do feel its call to look on its face and look deeply, we only see tokens, religious gleams, and we get carried away on a tide of symbols that, for all their power, for all their glory, can’t reach the dwelling place of our soul and give us God so intimately we see that face to be likened to our very own.

The symbols are for us an outer look that we try with all our might to make real on our inside, and these days in a skeptical age they have not the power they once had. The face conforms; it smiles; it bleeds. The mystery that wears that face will allow any mask. Some seer made the inward and upward journey and saw that mask. It is enough for us to believe (if we can believe and are not held under the sway of the dominant explainer, science), to moan in our sleep and grope for some comforting warmth, holding sweetly the symbols as we do our husbands and wives and children.

mountain topWe do not dare the deeps, have no commerce with the mountaintop.

Down there we cannot breathe, and we are afraid of heights, and if you are on the spiritual path, doing insight meditations, intensive retreats and whatnot, trying for all the world to experience something, you might not agree with me, but go into one of those crawl spaces deep inside the tunnel  to the soul, or sit on the mountaintop for a moment, in the silence for example, and you might find an actual spiritual experience to be quite different than you thought, a bit more intense than you bargained for.

Fear also wears a sinister face, insidious, more real at times than the real we are trying to see.

Suffocation and falling, either on the inside in exploration or on the outside in our daily lives, are not only possibilities on the path but ever looming predicaments because there is a deep oxymoron in the structure of things riddling truth mocking God and waylaying the seeker who would dare dive, who would hazard to climb, and so sleep is our safety and symbols of our protection, although for the most part only whom we consider imbeciles or children see that oxymoron to be conscious, or people from the old country, but our fear considers it aware even if our minds don’t. Examine it sometime.

The immense unknown glares at us in our bedchambers, and every so often we feel this witness, are almost startled awake by its sudden stark entrance into our life’s dream, but it happens rarely and comes in secretly, without any fanfare, most often exposing our weaknesses more than showing our strengths, and so we simply turn in our sleep and slumber on, or, if it happens that we do awaken for a moment, we pour over our symbols as one would count sheep until sleep returns, either that or in the morning we blow it off to imagination if we tend, like science, to try and reduce everything to material process.

From that unknown we have come, and to that unknown we will go. Somewhere inside there is an unacknowledged knowledge that we would not be where life meets death, or at least not here on death’s terms, if we had, at some point in our journey through infinite immensity, made our peace with that unknown and come to know it as our family and our home. The oxymoron laughs as if it were the heart of that mystery, and we are afraid to hear it laugh at us. We clutch our symbols to our breasts and carry on with our sleepwalking lives.

The animal does as much—sleepwalks—and we are animals, but even if we deny the possibility, we  sense in our thinking tabernacles and in our feeling oceans we are on the verge of becoming so much more.

This continually disturbs our sleep. It is the driving force behind our lives, the very reason we are alive, but to become awake to that there is a catch; in our awakening to the spiritual reality the riddle can have its way with us, and in that passage through its maze we may perish, and whether we are lost to our eternity or only to our good reputation in this present life we will not know until we have arrived at the sight of God. That is the hazard of the way up, the danger of the dive deep, or it is at least in the eyes of our fears.

mountain, girl, scenic, sunsetIf this were the full measure of things we would be doomed to live out our lives in the littleness of what we now are—lowlanders, surface dwellers, compared to how high and how deeply we can live—the danger being too great to dive or climb. It is not; there is a great guide that knows the way and takes us by the hand and leads us safely past all riddling lies to the truth of what we our hopes reach for, something more wonderful than thought can grasp, but something that the heart can hold, as it is something more intimate and real to us than our love for those we most cherish, than even our own heartbeat.

Above the world, beyond space and time, it has the omnipotence to have put personalized signposts meant for us and us alone into the very fabric of the world of our daily rounds, something that more and more joins the inner with the outer. That guide understands us, and even the symbols the seers have given us, for all their limitation, do aid us dive and climb so to reach it. We need them for some measure of the route. Moses, Mohammad, Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, Peace Pilgrim, the Mother, and an array of others, they can take us to the doors of the unknown.

To step into that immensity, however, we must shed them and see firsthand, become ourselves a seer, but even still the symbols stay near us and keep us in good company. They have the glow of God, and by their light we can see to ignite our own symbols until such time we have no need of measuring devices, when we have arrived at boundless sight, and everywhere we look we see only the God-filled vastness. This is known as self-seeing. But a momentary glimpse such as I described gives us something stronger than belief, knowledge that the higher is there (and more there is than the silence, than liberation, to see, something even our imagination would gap at in wonder), and when we know nothing can stop us, though we fall down a hundred times in a day, though the very stuff of things seems to stand in our way. That guide is, after all, who we are larger than time, that wonderful more I just mentioned, so no one or no thing can prevent us from getting there, and so even failure has its sure step and needed purpose.

For all the danger, more to the status quo than to ourselves however, society has its safeguards against the seer, the one that sees firsthand, and as society evolves so do they.

Yesterday it was, in many places, especially in the West, imprisonment and even death; today it is simply the deaf ear, but one that brilliantly feigns to listen to everyone. Society now has a mass of interconnected machines that allows everybody to post their voice, and as it takes over the ordering of our world I doubt we fully understand what we are forfeiting in allowing it such prominence. In an age of information swimming in oceans of knowledge, we don’t feel so acutely the need to see beyond all that, to see for ourselves how high and how deeply we can see, nor do we realize that the one voice that we lose in that world chorus is the one voice we need most, the seer’s. It’s too over the top, too bottomed out, for the motherboard of the machine, for society’s mainstream, and so it gets hung up somewhere on the questionable fringe where we on the whole don’t put our attention, click our mouse.

We can’t see this because we now can see so much, all that it seems possible to see.  Only there is left to see little details of reality our science will get to presently, the big questions themselves relative to what you believe. Would you agree on that? I have some questions for you about yourself, about the most basic I can ask, although they will seem foreign so estranged from us self-awareness actually is.  A little reflection would reveal how they are a good measure of your self-knowledge, since all but the last one asks about that one place, that third or fourth of our lives, in which we often don’t have the foggiest idea what we experience—this swoon of unconsciousness in that place is where experience is at its most self-revealing.

Time JumperCan you or have you ever gone to sleep maintaining continuity of consciousness into the sleep state?

Do you remember most of what you experience during sleep? Are you consciously aware in any of that experience? Have you used that awareness to explore, to touch the bottom, walls, and roof of your inner self (symbols I’m using and not absolutes) or made an undeniable connection with the outside? Have you ever consciously gotten behind your thinking mind and witnessed there, that place you do not think thought but hear and see it occurring coming into you whole and ready-made?

Have you even once completely stopped all process of thought and spent a moment in the more sustainable breathing heart-beating silence it’s probable the Buddha walked around in? I’ve asked you if you know yourself, asked you if you’re a seer, asked you what’s stopping you.

In contemporary times so much under the shadow of skeptical science, faced by the matter of fact of the machine, enlightenment has come to be something as wing-nut as an other-worldly heaven to hope for, or it’s come to mean either what you already are if you just get it, without a radical reversal of consciousness such as the emptiness the Silence brings, or something so out of reach you put it out of mind and concentrate on more immediate concerns, which more often than not are more mundane than spiritual, though wearing some glow related to a higher goal—the thousand and one things that make for a better sadhana (spiritual practice) for example if you are on the path.

Yes a proper diet, exercise, a quiet life in an unquiet world, mediation, asana, pranayama (breathing exercises), prayer and japa (devotional chanting), selfless works and all the other things we know work do work (more as quickening agents in most cases), but it all boils down to what we do with our consciousness at every moment, more specifically, where we put our concentration and how sincerely we put it there, that cursor of our attention, the click of our mouse, speaking figuratively.

Arriving at the silence, either the sustainable kind or the one I described that is at the very gate of getting out of here, takes an almost 24/7 focus. The really sincere concentration isn’t grasping after experiences or even the goal of realization but maintaining a focus on what to you embodies truth. If you do focus the concentration 24/7, the needed experiences will come; the very act of focusing  your attention so one-pointedly insures that.

This sounds absurd at first, since we’re maintaining this concentration, or remembrance if that helps see to it better, as we do our job, take care of our family, take time off, at all times, what’s called in my particular yoga a full sadhana, which is possible believe it or not, once you get the hang of it, in all but the most engaging employment. It bears mentioning that although there is history of the immediate touch, for most of us a lot of effort is required, and that kind of concentration isn’t all that attractive until we’re sure the thing’s there within us, or what we are within I might say, and that comes through self-awareness, the deeper kind embodied in the questions above, and I’m giving a clue as to where to begin looking, and our concentration needs to be sharp enough to cut through all objects, something, like any blade, that comes with a lot of sharpening.

New Age spirituality is just too confused and scattered in the use of symbols to put the two and two together and arrive anywhere, but neither is it a complete waste.

It at least understands there is indeed so much more to us than what we now see, more in terms of a spiritual more, a higher, diviner living. We, especially in the West but more and more in the East also, are educated beginning as small children within a framework of science that seeks, in its present manifestation, to reduce everything down to material causes.

Even if we don’t realize it, this has gotten into the fabric of our thinking, and hence spiritual processes, that we almost unconsciously distance from ourselves. There doesn’t seem to be broad knowledge that we can see for ourselves if these things are real or not, that it isn’t a matter of merely adopting beliefs as the case is being put forth today. I’m here to tell you the mountaintop is there, and you climb up with your consciousness, your awareness, your concentration and where you put those things most of the time, here you will be or there go.

             Source: Uploaded by user via Di Trish on Pinterest

 

 

In a Matter of Fact Hustle Environment

Could You Dream for an Electrician?

After doing yoga for years I have discovered that yoga is concentration.

You know how you do it?

Yeah,

You gotta call it with the mind:

David Requested Peak.

What do you think about?

Point of view:

Look at in front of you

In good ole hands

Young enough to feel dream.

Perhaps next compass

Find the soul.

It an orchid.

How my business is in the heart.

Cut in half,

Cut life in half,

Ridin’ around

Knowin’ what you wanted.

They’re identical:

The craftsmen of daily life;

What we see God in at every moment.

There’s a third bridge there.

Who in their right mind would put the two and two together?

You stop movin’.

You stop sadhana.

You’re enlightened.

Come ‘ere,

More on earth to be when we grow up.

I’m comin’.

I’m comin’.

I’m comin’.

I’m comin’ up to pass.

I have a lot for the monkeys

Who have understood me better

Than Dr. Finalize.

Comin’ up

A great big evolution.

The History Department.

Not today.

Hey man,

Did you uh see

The new Superman?

Out later.

Hold on,

A sneak preview

In your rendezvous.

An unknown

Invite us.

Well that’s Supermind,

Whose face our own.

The butterfly,

The butterfly is a beautiful hawk.

I’m a craftsman,

Remember that.

The riddle

Of speaking the way we do

When there’s alpha things

And crud things.

Underneath reaction

You don’t have to pay for it

Listening to music.

Hello.

Slaves,

To burn them unknown from the drag of earth?

Flames,

They have schedules,

And they have lives.

What are you smokin’ there undesired Buddha?

Colorful devices challenge and propose.

Not my personal elbow.

Fell asleep in his van;

Inspired to wake up.

He had a backin’ of stuff.

Just usin’ it.

You can call the machine

To exit

Or,

Close your eyes up here:

Good Groundhog Day.

Timeout,

Whatever the side trap is I think I’ve got it.

What is that?

Who really wants to work trouble?

Fight that drum

Brainless.

Well congratulations,

You need to be around

When you plug it in:

Go and save yourself.

You cook?

Educating them the length of a poem

By allowing

The untouchable.

Jaywalkin’,

My uncle told me I could

On your door.

He wants you now to do some cookin’.

This is freakin’ me out really fast;

Get away from me.

I’m sittin’ in your no.

It may be

If you turn me wrong

I become that creature

Terrifying.

What would will do

You let it

Rock down on me a moment friendly?

Welcome

My good driver.

A little lesson in love

Come in.

It goes straight from here

To society’s training wheels.

There’s no cure!

Avast! has been updated.

And yoga

Is bigger.

I’m going to ask all of you

The asana

The stairwell.

That’s a freaky little mother the flesh.

Don’t be too certain Axle’s wearing the graveyard.

And a little from the Snap/Shift Organization.

Are you outta your mind?

Far from it.

I was in the canvas in India.

I was there gettin’ fixed.

I am now 50 years old.

This is for me the fullest time I’ve ever been.

They made a play.

Let’s line up this camera.

I have to find my wedding.

It was in my fool.

What are we talking about?

The Green Hornet.

Do you usually look at Englishmen?

I gotta watch my tea.

What the recipe learned from him?

No moral symphony.

Find you weekend.

Don’t do picnic.

Find your concentration.

Are you gettin’ it?

They said get it out.

Excuse me,

What have you requested?

Where do we go to enlightenment from here.

Unbelievable,

You don’t stop

Monitoring

All your concentration.

Remove the challenges?

A harmony of everything,

That’s what I’m lookin’ for.

The United States of America,

He gonna kick out a race?

Don’t misunderstand.

Divine footfalls,

They have a right to return.

They calm down, bring solace,

While you find a harmony for your granted.

The drag is about serious.

That’s delight in turn:

The pilot and the butler get together

And make a harmony out of the impossible,

No broken stars.

Leads to enlightenment

The challenge of sweetheart

Under the gun.

Get that gun down bounty;

Company? I thought you was craft.

Have ever watched really watched a beehive?

I got hung up on the highway

Not open Texas,

But I hope that glimpse

What’s for dinner

I gotta eat somethin’.

Furthermore,

What you’re doin’

24/7

Has come to mean a ball of safety.

You have somethin’ you can’t control,

Control it there.

Where would you say it goes?

What we’ve been usin’

(Unbelievable)

Convert us into a gap large enough

A world atmosphere,

Hey,

Can’t just keep fillin’ in.

He’s high,

And he’s polished.

And we’re safety.

Look at my license.

Imagine how one of us

Would act if we did know.

It’s pretty simple.

I’m sorry man I’m really sorry,

I really am, I’m sorry.

Thank you.

Take it.

Take it what?

Poetry—

Find answers to your questions

About me there.

First aid temple?

All the king’s men.

Perhaps some stimulus

You wanna come do it.

Come on,

Your sweetheart’s God?

To God I take my clothes off.

We don’t want to waste this electrician’s time

Wasting on

The hot nerves,

The game CD.

Now tell the hot nerves that

And they’ll be quiet

Suit me well

Where I put my concentration.

How do you do it?

You do it yourself.

You get out of a rut

By staying in it,

Somethin’ you won’t fit into

The stronger your concentration grows,

Enlightenment’s whistle.

We’d have to get into the structure of reality,

But the wallity of structure

And then that wall of pain

Right in front of you.

That’s when you

Sell it.

Admit it,

Enlightenment

Just walked off.

Here’s the play,

What I recommend.

Do it

A 24/7 concentration.

Where you come out—

See what happens.

At the same time

Open

The doors of sleep.

Somewhere else tomorrow:

The higher route.

Get medical attention

In the divine.

They take you out to dinner,

Feeding you

A pool of imagination

Rather than axioms about life.

Oh you’ve had enough?

We’re criminal

We talk too much.

Wedding around.

That’s enough.

The end’s on the center of life,

And that’s impassioned,

Awhile that’s the mountaintop.

Donny DukeI’m an expat American living in India for the study of yoga, the Integral Yoga of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo, which entails a different yogic posture than asana.  I neither live in an ashram nor spiritual community but in a private household in which I do the cooking, shopping, and cleaning. You might call me a monk on the path of action, or one who is learning to combine the life of everyday affairs to one of seclusion and meditation. After all these years on the path I’m still a student and not a yoga teacher, but being one isn’t what I’m aiming for.  I am, however, a writer, particularly a poet, and I’m active on the web: The Chipmunk Press, a journal for my yoga and for the world at large I write with some friends, and The Atomic Review, a non-literary poetry review I’ve recently created.

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2 Responses to “Winged Information: A Peer into the Mountaintop. ~ Donny Duke”

  1. Sarah Hannah says:

    A beautiful journey in vulnerability and poetry! I am humbled by your gift! ' but it all boils down to what we do with our consciousness at every moment, more specifically, where we put our concentration and how sincerely we put it there' – in every moment I am born anew to this choice, and so rarely not challenged by it. Thank you for these beautiful words.

  2. Donny Duke says:

    I glad you think it's a gift. Few people do. The poems I write now I just file away, only submitting now when the intuition insists, such as in this instance. There really isn't a such thing a poet anymore; everyone is, and in a certain sense that's true, but not everyone was born with or got in the first few years of life what I might call the beneficial disease of sounding the language deeps, playing with speaking skies. I haven't had the full blown version all my life, just sentence symptoms early on and word rashes. For medicine I was given a literary education, including Classical Greek, but that only enabled me to hide it better, be sociable with it and all that. Finally I had to break out of that mode because it was just quenching my spirit (it really doesn't allow spirit and soul anymore, and God, well you can forget it). 10 years later I found my muse, and it would be another 10 before I'd find it with any frequency, and another 10 before I was writing anything I thought worth its salt in poetry, but so far not many other people think so, or at least no one tells me it is. In a way that helps, gives a certain freedom. You really got to hear it to appreciate it though, and elephant decided not to include the mp3 I'd made of the poem. It's dramatic verse written to be performed, and with the different speakers that's really the only sure way to understand who's saying what. I'll go to your site to see if you have an email address and send it to you, and if you don't and want to hear it go The Chipmunk Press. Our address is in the sidebar. Anyway, thank you Sarah. It also helps to get, what do they call those things, kudos? It makes us purr.

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