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The seeker’s silence is the loudest form of prayer.

             ~Swami Vivekananda (per lazyyogi)

Some passion, some compassion,

and humor. 

I met my first spiritual teacher in Washington Square Park. He looked like a street hippie, except for one thing. He was at peace. No, he was peace. The long-haired bearded plaid-shirted blue-jeaned barefoot kid of 20 or so almost radiated he was so  peaceful. I had been walking home to St. Marks Place through the park when I saw him sitting under a tree with a group of folks around him in a horseshoe, facing him. I walked over and gestured silently if I could sit with him too. He gestured silently to have a seat. I did so, full lotus, showing off.

A few minutes later I was bawling in tears, happier than I had ever been anywhere doing anything else. I had no questions. He had not said anything. When I got up to leave I asked if I could see him again. He said, “Come here tomorrow, and see for yourself.”

Every day after that I went, and most days he would show up, never at the same time but usually between 10am and 1pm, and always at the arch with a girl friend, and then walk to the same tree in the northeast part of the park, almost at a triangulation point with the arch and the fountain circle, and sit with his back to the same tree. Over the next few hours folks of all ages and classes would come over and just sit with him, as if drawn there, just as I had done.

One day I heard him call the girl he came with, Lucky. Later I heard her call him Jonathan.

Time after time I would see someone who had just seen him for  the first time go from walking up and saying `Hi, can I sit here’ and then to a smile, and then suddenly break out laughing with happiness, or break down and cry, just because he looked at them. Some days as many as 20 or 30 people were sitting with him, other times it was just him and Lucky and me, other days maybe a few other regulars were there, but never more than six of seven who stayed the whole day.

A lot of the first-timers gave him food, or money, or books, or whatever they had been carrying on their way through the park. Every time he was given something, Jonathan accepted it as the most wonderful  thing he had ever seen, and then shared it all with the folks there. I never saw him keep anything.

After a while, some of us “regulars” who came every day would exchange first names, but only if Jonathan had not yet come, or had gone, because personal chatter was not really why we were there. We were there to sit with the kid, because when he talked, doors opened. Questions not asked, got answered.

The few people I did talk with beyond HiYa My Name Is, all turned out to be friends of a guy named FreedOm, an ex-Marine who had lived in an ashram in India, and on returning to the states had then started his own ashram in upstate NY. I didn’t know much more about anyone sitting with Jonathan other than at one time or  another  they had all lived and studied with Freedom, Jonathan included.

So, other than sharing that information about Freedom, Jonathon and his chums from that NY ashram never did talk for any extended period about anything except being aware. He might ask or answer questions, but only briefly, and only simple ones, nothing complex or “deep”. When he  did talk he did so simply, and would not exaggerate or embellish. He might talk a little about Rama, or Jesus. Mostly we all just paid attention, eyes wide open mostly, though Jonathan liked to close his eyes when he sang.  He sang nice songs, and softly, but with his face up to the sky, as if he was talking to someone there.

"Holy sun, father absolute

who art in heaven

and in every one

every where,

Thanks for this sweet sweet light that pleases



Weeks passed into summer and one afternoon Jonathan announced he would be leaving soon and on that day he would invite a core group to come with him to a forest in New Jersey, to fast for a month.

No one asked questions. No one required details. It was another day with Jonathan.

So, even today whenever anything seems right, I go with it full tilt boogie. And when something feels off, even something as minor as a “quote”— if it does not feel spot-on, I try to go directly into the source. Sometimes that shows it  was I who was off-kilter, and the “quote” or whatever, is spot-on 100% valid— yet by checking, by having made the effort I sometimes find more jewels than I had sought.


                 “the guru’s silence is the loudest answer.”

(Source: lazyyogi, via myyogaon-deactivated20131028)

Filed under lazyyogi Ramana Jonathon silence Qur'an

214 notes”

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Absolutely Clear


Don’t surrender your loneliness 
So quickly. 
Let it cut more deep. 

Let it ferment and season you 
As few human 
Or even divine ingredients can. 

Something missing in my heart tonight 
Has made my eyes so soft, 
My voice 
So tender, 

My need of God 

        – Shams al-Din Hafiz

Filed under poetry hafiz god beautiful

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follow the rule of celibacy and you are no more than an ass.

zen monk, Ikkyu Sojun (1394-1481)

                     ~guyatree adds

more tidbits:

"Follow the rule of celibacy and you are no more than an ass.
Break it and you are only human.
The spirit of Zen is manifest in ways as countless as the sands of the Ganges.
Every newborn is a fruit of the conjugal bond.
For how many eons have the secret blossoms been budding and fading?

"With a young beauty, I am engrossed in fervent love-play;
We sit in the pavilion, a pleasure girl and this Zen monk.
I am enraptured by hugs and kisses
And certainly do not feel as if I am burning in hell.”


sex-loving monk, you object!
Hot-blooded and passionate, totally aroused.
But then lust can exhaust all passion,
Turning base metal into gold.

"The lotus flower
Is not stained by the mud;
This dewdrop form,
Alone, just as it is,
Manifests the real body of truth.

Why did Bodhidharma come from India to China?

(via trinidadescobar-deactivated2014)

Filed under sex and the siddha

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