Im back in Tiruvannamalai again. This time for several months. Writing on my upcoming book keeps me grounded and creative. It is hot like an oven in the afternoons, that gives me an alibi to stay home to write. Yet being in Sri Ramanas Ashram is a must at least once a day. Sittining, walking and being with that soft presence which sometimes is like a black hole that sucks you into nothingness, sometimes it is like a soft cloud of love that holds everything in an embrace. This is what brings meaningfulness to life, the exploration of presence, the experience of presence and the sharing of it.
Another verse in the Arunachala Mahatmyam, translated from Sanskrit into Tamil by Sri Ramana Maharshi says: ””Arunachala is truly the holy place. Of all holy places it is the most sacred! Know that it is the heart of the world. It is truly Siva himself! It is his heart-abode, a secret kshetra. In that place the Lord ever abides the hill of light named Arunachala.”
Some friends in the community are discussing on the internet if there is the possible danger of teaching the non dual teachings to people who can be depressed or become so. Due to a person who committed suicide. One friend of mine said that the teaching ones had the effect on him that he did not want to get out of bed, why should he, there was nothing to achieve and nothing to do. This is a big topic. All I want to say about this is that we live in a dual world and the non dual at the same time. What happens when you’re normal boundaries get confronted, which they do in a place like this, with lots of space and spiritual transparency in the air, is that you get to meet an existential loneliness, not always easy and something rarely adressed in ”Sat Sang-cirkels”. Thats why I like what the Buddha said; You need all the Three Jewels as much, but the third jewel, the ”Sangha” (the community of likeminded friends), is what you need the most on the path.
The Three Jewels we take refuge in are:
1. Buddha: (The awakened one- our capacity to awake to our True Nature)
2. Dharma: (The teachings of the awakened one)
3. Sangha: (the community of likeminded friends)
Yes also for me there are days when Im confronted with loneliness and lack of ”holding”. I always notice after a while that in those moments I lost touch with existence, being or presence. It happens when the people in the outside world is given more importance then my own inner being, presence itself.
My teacher A. H. Almaas (in The Diamond Approach) beautifully writes: ”When the personality is gone, you feel alone, because the boundaries—your ideas and memories—are your father and mother. The separateness is your memories of your mother and father, your relationship with them and all your past experiences which you’re bringing into the present. Your past experience separates you from the now. That separation from the now is a boundary around you like an eggshell. To let the boundaries go means accepting aloneness. When aloneness is accepted, there are no boundaries. What you perceive then is just lack of boundaries. This will be experienced as a newness, a rebirth.”
From Diamond Heart Book Two: The Freedom to Be, ch. 10
So as Im writing and inquiring into the spiritual path that I have been on this past 40 years or so, I’m looking back to meetings with spiritual masters, retreats and incidents, my sense of identity is also revealed and released, bit by bit. My Personal presence and spiritual presence become one thing. Gratitude and blessings, Kali, Franciska von Koch
Tiruvannamalai January 31-2020