Breath Of The Eternal

Breath Of The Eternal
“The Self cannot be known to man, if he desists not from evil, if he controls not his senses, if he quiets not his mind, and practices not meditation.” –From the Upanishads

Reading the ancient scriptures of Hinduism is fascinating, and I am amazed by the importance put on meditation. As a student of meditation I find this very inspiring.

In the first chapter of the Upanishads (Katha) Nachiketa is granted three boons from Death, because he had waited at his house for three nights and not received his hospitality. For his first and second boon Nachiketa wishes his father peace of mind and to learn the fire sacrifice that leads to heaven (thereafter called the Nachiketa sacrifice).

For his third boon he asks Death to tell him the truth about life and death. Death refuses to grant this wish, and offers him all the pleasures imaginable, but Nachiketa insists that this is his only wish. Death refuses again, and Nachiketa repeats his wish a third time. This satisfies Death, and he grants him his wish.

“The good is one thing; the pleasant is another.” says Death, and he also says “Blessed are they that choose the good; they that choose the pleasant miss the goal.”

Nachiketa was blessed according to Death because he had renounced the most pleasing offers. His focus was pure and clean and therefore he could be initiated into the secrets of the eternal.

This post comes to us from Norway! Thanks to Nicone of Just Add Yoga. Reposted with permission. Here is the original post.

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Pothole fishing

Pothole Fishing

A kind-hearted fellow was walking through New York and was astonished to see an old man, fishing rod in hand, fishing over a pothole.

“Tsk Tsk!” said the passerby to himself. “What a sad sight. That poor old man is fishing over a pothole. I’ll see if I can help.”

So the kind fellow walked up to the old man and asked, “What are you doing, my friend?”

“Fishin’, sir.”

“Fishin’, eh? Well, how would you like to come have a drink with me?”

The old man stood, put his rod away and followed the kind stranger to the corner bar. He ordered a large glass of beer and a fine cigar.

His host, the kind fellow, felt good about helping the old man, and he asked, “Tell me, old friend, how many did you catch this morning?”

The old fellow took a long drag on the cigar, blew a careful smoke ring and replied, “You’re the sixth today, sir!”

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An overflowing cup

Overflowing Cup
Nan-in, a Japanese master during the Meiji era (1868-1912), received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen.

Nan-in served tea.

While the master quietly served tea, the professor talked about Zen.

The master poured the visitor’s cup to the brim, and then kept pouring.

The professor watched the overflow until he no longer could restrain himself. “It is overfull. No more will go in!”

“Like this cup,” Nan-in said, “you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?”

Our ego-identities are barriers to deeper knowledge. They prevent us from imbibing new thoughts as these have to struggle past deeply entrenched ideas associated with our ego-self. Till we empty our cup off these we shall be unable to grasp the deeper essence of Zen. Yoga is a journey of slowly draining this cup and moving out of our ego-identity.

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My life now has a deeper sense of purpose!

J Brown

J. Brown


My mother died of leukemia when I was sixteen years old. In the months leading up to her death, I didn’t visit her in the hospital. I went once but after sitting in my car in the parking lot for thirty minutes, I left without going in. I just couldn’t. I was not capable of dealing with what was happening.

Eventually, I’d be hurried to her bedside regardless: for fear she was not going to make it through the night. I remember the nurse coming into the waiting room quickly and saying, “She’s awake!” Next, I see my mother in a hospital bed with tubes coming out of her nose. My sister breaks down sobbing and rushes to her side. My mother is semi-hysterical, crying and exclaiming, “I am not ready to go!”

At the time, I had never exhibited much poise or depth. I tended to be somewhat hyperactive and scattered. I spent a lot of time daydreaming. Yet, in this most crucial moment, something I cannot explain happened.

In a strange flash of clarity that I have been inquiring to understand ever since, I grabbed my mother by the gown, jarring her present and bringing her eyes to mine, and said, “Mom, I love you very much and I’m going to do great things in my life and make you proud of me. I’m not going to come see you in the hospital again.” She nodded in acknowledgement and gave me a pained smile. I kissed her on the cheek and walked out of the room. That was the last time I saw my mother. Continue reading

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I am nothing and I am everything!

Nisargadatta Maharaj

Nisargadatta Maharaj


“Wisdom is knowing I am nothing,
Love is knowing I am everything,
and between the two my life moves.”
—Nisargadatta Maharaj

If we identify ourselves with our ego then we need true wisdom to realize that we are truly insignificant. This knowledge does not arise as an intellectual exercise but comes about from the deeper well of life-experiences.

When we reach the level of wisdom to realize that our ego-identity is nothing, our lives overflow with joy and love. From this overflowing emotion of selfless love comes a realization that our True Self encompasses everything. Every molecule and atom dances to the beat of its joy and the entire universe is nothing but its plaything!

Having fleeting insights into our deeper identity we still struggle with our ego-self and our life oscillates between the two. Here is the translated version of what Nisargadatta Mharaj probably meant:

“Wisdom is knowing I (the ego-identity) am nothing,
Love is knowing I (Deeper Self) am everything,
and between the two (Ego-identity and Deeper Self) my life moves.”

Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj (April 17, 1897 – September 8, 1981) was an Indian spiritual teacher and philosopher of Advaita (Nondualism).

One of the 20th century’s exponents of the school of Advaita Vedanta philosophy (nondualism), Sri Nisargadatta, with his direct and minimalistic explanation of non-dualism, is considered the most famous teacher of Advaita since Ramana Maharshi.

In 1973, the publication of his most famous and widely translated book, I Am That, an English translation of his talks in Marathi by Maurice Frydman, brought him worldwide recognition and followers.

Credits:This has been written by Raj Shah and edited by Ketna Shah.

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