This book can enliven your desire to wake up or intensify that desire at whatever stage it is already kindled. It can answer questions you have had, whether or not you knew you had them. Chit Happens can undo many of the common spiritual concepts that, no matter how beautiful, ultimately distract the aspirant from the true goal of human life. This book will let you know that the path to freedom can be easy, swift, and joyful.
At the end of this book, you will certainly have had at least a glimpse of your own magnificent potential.
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.54(d)|
Read an Excerpt
Chit HappensA Guide to Discovering Divinity
By NARAIN ISHAYA
Balboa PressCopyright © 2012 Narain Ishaya
All right reserved.
Chapter OneTruth is Universal
It is a fascinating thing that over the millennia, the search for our true nature has become embroiled in mysticism and complexity. For something to be called Truth it must be universal, equally present for all everywhere, forever. Unfortunately for most of us, the search for Truth has become something that is seen as difficult and reserved for only a select few.
This cannot be the case. Truth cannot be only for some. It cannot be in some places and not in others. It must be omnipresent, and it must be now. Not only that, but it must be simple, the most simple of things. How can it be difficult to realize that which you already are? The discovery of Absolute Truth must only be a matter of learning to discriminate that which you are from that which you are not. This discrimination is a valid spiritual path, the spiritual path if what you want is to awaken from the dream of separation and limitation. Luckily it is also the simplest, fastest, and most enjoyable path as well. Who would even want to undertake such a journey if it were joyless? The fact is, it is the ultimate Joy.
The path of awareness and self-realization, otherwise known as enlightenment, is as equally available to a housewife in Minnesota as a yogi in the Himalayas. In fact, the journey may be easier for the former simply because of the lack of spiritual concepts in the average Minnesotan housewife. The only requirement is the desire to be free, and the willingness to go for it whole-heartedly.
The greatest Teachers of history have clearly shown the universal nature of Truth. All described the same reality; all taught the simplicity of return. Any complexity in the teaching came from those who followed, the ones who knew only the letter, rather than the spirit, of the Teaching. Spiritual concepts and beliefs serve only to mask the omnipresent splendor of our own divine light.
It is our concepts and beliefs that are the root cause of all separation, all pain and all suffering. While these beliefs are unconsciously mistaken for Truth, we will only live in the world as we believe it to be, rather than the world as it is. Once these beliefs are clearly seen, and with a valid way to surrender them to something greater, there is no boundary that cannot be transcended; none. The True Nature of reality cannot be understood, nor conceptualized; it can only be directly experienced. It is an open invitation to all to return to their birthright of eternal peace, limitless joy, and boundless creative potential.
1. What is God?
The word God is simply a word. It is used here to refer to the absolute source of all experience. Beyond all form and appearance there is a field of limitless, silent awareness devoid of all movement and change. The discovery of this field as a direct experience is the purpose of spiritual practice.
All cultures have a word for the experience of this awareness. In India it is sometimes referred to Turiya, the fourth state of consciousness beyond waking, sleeping and dreaming. In Japan it has been known as Satori. Early Christians called it "the peace that passeth all understanding," as the mind cannot grasp it, yet it can absolutely be experienced. It has been called the Tao, Silence, Stillness, Presence, the Absolute, pure consciousness, infinite love and endless peace.
While the words are many, the experience is one. While the paths to the discovery of it may be many, the experience is subjective, and comes only from letting go of the attachment to, and identification with, the mind. Meditation is invaluable for correcting one's relationship to the mind, and allowing the discovery of the presence that lies beyond.
As the experience of the silent presence grows, it reveals itself to be so all encompassing, so utterly all-consuming, that the word God simply points to the magnitude of it.
Many of the world's religious teachings have portrayed the Divine as something outside of you, something to be feared and obeyed. This is not God's fault. God has been given a bad rap by humanity's ignorance of spiritual truth.
Whatever word is used to describe limitless awareness is inadequate. This is about the direct inner realization of the Divine, the remembering of your true nature. It is not about picking up beliefs, ideas or concepts. This is absolutely spiritual, but not religious or based on belief. Your freedom from limitation and suffering is all down to your own experience, your own relationship with your mind. Just beyond the chatter of the mind is the indescribable beauty of your own consciousness. Identification with that is freedom, call it what you will.
2. How can you say there is a universal truth? What is true for me may not necessarily be true for someone else.
On one level you are right, but that level is not the level of absolute truth, it is the level of relative truth. This is the level where truth or falsehood is determined by the mind. It is based on what feels true, which is how we formulate our beliefs. It is a level of truth that is determined by our mental filters. As much as it may not appear this way, these truths are not based entirely on experience, and so need to be defended and reinforced.
A truth at this level may appear to be true for you, but will not be true for everyone, always.
From as early as I can remember, I was always interested in spirituality. Because of where I grew up, the earliest experiences of this for me were through Christianity. I have always loved Jesus. There was something so infinitely compassionate about his example to me.
As a child, when I heard that heaven was exclusively reserved for His followers alone, it just didn't make any sense.
I asked people, "What about all the people who died before he came? What about all the people who never got to know about him? What about all the people who have their own religions?"
No one could give me a satisfactory answer, not one that seemed in alignment with what I read Jesus was actually supposed to have said.
All of the answers I was given were based on something they may have believed to be true, but Jesus never said it. They were told it, and just accepted it as fact. None of them seemed to have given it one moment's contemplation; none of it was based on their experience. I wasn't prepared to accept it.
Only a few short years ago I was talking with a priest, a really nice guy. He found out what I do, and with only a small personal charge said to me, "We believe that meditation is a tool of the antichrist."
I said, "For you to use the word antichrist, you must be pretty clear on what Christ is."
"Oh yes I am." He replied.
I asked, "Did Jesus really say that the Kingdom of God is within?"
"Yes, he said that," replied my new friend.
"And did Jesus say that the Kingdom Heaven is at hand?"
"Yes, he said that too."
"And did Jesus teach to anyone, including women, tax collectors and gentiles?"
"He sure did."
"So, Jesus said the Kingdom of Heaven is within you, at hand, meaning now, and it is available to all people, regardless of who they are or where they came from. I also think he said that if you stop following your mind into the past, or worrying about the future, God will be there to look after you, you will discover it for yourself. He also said something about all the things He did, you can do, and more. The opposite of that teaching, anti to that Christ would be a teaching that says the Kingdom of Heaven is reserved only for a special few, that it requires something more of you than you already are, and exists off in another point in space and time, probably after you die, if you've been good."
"Our teaching, which uses meditation as a tool, is one that says that freedom and the Kingdom of Heaven are available right here and now for anyone to experience. All you have to do is let go of the mind's ceaseless movement from past to future and back again to discover the innate divinity that you already are. It is equally present within all beings, regardless of background, culture, sex or age. Nothing is required other than the willingness to remember how to let go. There is not very much which is opposed to Christ's teaching in any of that; in fact it is absolutely in alignment with it."
He nearly fell over! He knew that his statement had been based in something he was told, and had not questioned, something that was not his experience.
Relative truth is the birthplace of all conflict. You believe one thing, I believe another, and if our beliefs clash or challenge one another in any way then one must defeat the other. How many times have great wars been fought because two sets of conflicting relative truths came up against one another? How many times has one belief system slaughtered many people trying to impose their own relative truth upon others?
There is another level of truth. This level has nothing to do with belief; it is not relative, it is absolute. It does not create divisions because it is unified.
No conflict is possible because it is not based on what you believe to be true, but is based upon experience. It is not dependant upon religion, background, race or behavior.
This is not about religion. This scenario plays out in every area of our lives continuously. Discovering the difference for your self as a living experience is the difference between a life lived in separation and judgment, and a life lived in permanent peace and awareness of Divinity.
Beyond all of the beliefs we hold dear, beyond all the individual positions and judgments is a field of limitless, silent awareness. This field of presence is common to all. It is the fullest experience of the present moment, and in it there is no judgment, no separation, no conflict and no suffering.
Whether you agree or disagree with what I am saying is not important. Whether you desire to find out for your self is. The experience of universal truth is yours for the asking, it is with you always.
What you call it is irrelevant. It is peace, it is stillness, it is silence, and it is God. It is less than heartbeat away for you, and everyone else, forever. It is the end of all divisions, and the birthplace of immortality. It is literally the Kingdom of Heaven.
3. What is meant by the statement, "The Kingdom of Heaven is within?"
It means that the Kingdom of Heaven, which would also infer God, is within you. It would seem from that one simple statement if you were going to seek Heaven as an experience, then it would be necessary to learn to take the awareness inward, beyond the mind. Study of theology and philosophy is fine if all you want is to know about the experience, or what other people think about it, or to learn what man has decided is an appropriate way to behave to be in alignment with it. But if you want to experience it for yourself, you have to go inside, because it is there, within you. It is actually not different than your own consciousness.
I once heard that statement translated from Aramaic, which went something like "The Kingdom of Heaven is of the inner and the outer." That which we seek is both within us and all around us continually, but we have been conditioned to seek something else, something spectacular, always something other than the here and now.
The ego survives on the concept of specialness. It desires to be spectacular. The truth of divinity is that it is realized as the most ordinary of states. That which is termed enlightenment is rare, but this is not because it is difficult; in fact, quite the opposite. It is rare because of its ultimate simplicity. The Jesus', Buddha's and Krishna's of the world were quite possibly the most ordinary people who have ever lived, and in that surrender to their own non-specialness, they became spectacular.
Most people miss the goal of human life because the subtlest levels of the mind are looking for the spectacular. Ego needs to be recognized as having obtained something. The limited self always wants to get something out of the experience. "What do I get out of enlightenment?" it asks. To the ego the answer is, "Nothing."
What there is for you is eternal peace; nothing special, just rare. What is termed "bliss" is so because it is the realization of that which was always present, the most natural of states. Christ knew full well, as does every realized being, that the exquisite experience of freedom is the recognition of the divine perfection of all that is, exactly as it exists now. Nothing needs to be fixed or improved, simply experienced. To turn the awareness inward is really to stop focusing on everything other than that.
We are continually walking through the Kingdom of Heaven, we just don't recognize it because we have become accustomed to only recognizing thoughts, feelings and sensory experiences. It is amazing really, that identification with the movements in the mind has obscured mankind's recognition of their own divinity.
This is the value of meditation, to begin to see the movements of the mind as separate from you, and from there, to take the awareness deeper into the presence of the Self. All our lives we are so involved with doing. Then, when we begin to seek for Peace, we begin doing all over again to achieve that. We go from workshop to workshop, read book after book, go to church after church, always less than a heartbeat away from the presence of God.
In all of this, what we are never taught to do, at least not effectively, is to just stop and be aware, to be still. In those moments of stillness we are opening to Presence, and by continually surrendering to that presence, it has the opportunity to claim your awareness itself, for you to return to Union with that.
It is simply identification with thought that has created the illusion of separation. To move the awareness "within" is to let go of the movement of thought, go beyond the mind and directly experience the silence that was there the whole time. When that Silence is experienced fully, it can only be termed Divine. It is the Kingdom of Heaven. It is God. It is your birthright to directly experience you are, and have always been, one with that.
Christ continually said the same thing as all great Teachers of history; what you seek you already are, it is here and now and within you ... it is your own radiant awareness. Seek that with all your heart and the Kingdom of Heaven will be revealed. It was always there. We were just looking in the wrong place.
4. What is Consciousness?
At any time, you can be aware. You know you experience, and this quality could be called awareness.
Beyond that awareness is a completely non-dual state, which is infinitely alert, only to its self. It is a field of infinite possibility, eternally un-manifest, completely beyond time and space.
It is the truest experience of the Self. It has no individual qualities at all, and is the one source of all the various appearances of creation. This field is pure consciousness.
Consciousness is the root of the universe, as quantum physics is discovering. Without consciousness there is no experience of the universe. The universe, and everything in it, cannot exist independent of consciousness, but consciousness needs nothing to exist; it is existence.
It is consciousness that, when it becomes identified with individual perception, believes its self to be the limited "me" rather than the infinite, universal "I."
Consciousness is the Self of all things, the life essence of everything in creation, without exception. Consciousness is the unified field, the level at which all things are one.
It is what sees through your eyeballs, hears through your ears and feels with your senses. It is the part of you that cannot be hurt or injured in any way and is not subject to birth or death. It, in fact, is you ... the real you. It is your life's purpose to remember that, to return to your natural state of infinite being-ness.
You are the essence of creation, the infinite possibility of the Divine. You have forgotten that. You believe that you are a little, individual being with no power or choice in what you are. This is not true, no matter how much you believe it. You are endlessly free, and it's time you remembered that. It's time you came home.
5. What is Enlightenment?
Enlightenment is the direct experience that formless consciousness is all there is, and you are that. This state, however, is a concept for most people. A more appropriate question would be, "If you could have anything at all right now, any wish granted, what would that be?" Many people would ask for more money, or better health, or a better relationship. All of these things are worthy and deserved, but what is it that these wishes would give to you?
In a moment of honesty, you can see that if you had more money, a better job, a better relationship or health then you would experience more love, freedom, happiness, joy or peace. At the root of every human desire is the desire to experience these things: Happiness, Joy, Peace, love and Freedom. Unfortunately, humanity has sacrificed the goal to the pursuit of the things that we think will deliver it to us. (Continues...)
Excerpted from Chit Happens by NARAIN ISHAYA Copyright © 2012 by Narain Ishaya. Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Contents1. Truth is Universal....................1
2. The Nature of the Self....................25
3. Transcending Limitation....................39
4. The Evolution of Consciousness....................61
5. Spiritual Practice – Walking the Talk....................87
6. The Path of the Sages....................123
7. Experiences Along the Way....................149
8. The Ones That Got Away....................167