Tag Archives: deathlessness


The word soma stands for the corpse in Homer, and only later acquires the meaning of body. So the following verse is attributed to Euripides by Plato: “Who knows whether living is not being dead, while being dead is living?” Plato’s Socrates continues: “Perhaps we too are dead. I at least heard this from the wise men that now we are dead and that for us the body is a tomb” (soma estin hemin sema: Gorg. 492e-493a).In his Commentary on Plato’s Gorgias, Olympiodorus explains this as follows: read more

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The Fifth Tower: The Silkworm

By now one can realize that Teresa’s Interior Castle is a treatise on profound Unitive Mysticism. What she has been revealing are the later stages of the interior spiritual life. The final stages correspond to the fifth, sixth and seventh dwelling places. While the Fourth Tower was about a transitional phase from active to passive contemplation, this glorious Fifth Tower designates what Teresa refers to as the beginning of the Divine Union, or Absolute Illumination. According to her, ones task belies any form of adequate human communication for what IT is truly like: read more

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Why Birth, Why Death?

Having now covered a healthy dose of this series on the Sagathakam, you may have observed that many of these gathas (verses) are repetitious in nature. It’s as if the Sagathakam is one long spiritual exercise for students of the Lanka and that elements of its composition was not composed by just one scribe, but several. Since the Sagathakam basically covers the most prominent themes found within the Lanka, these different scribes composed many variations based on the same themes. In this fashion, the diligent and astute adept would be sure to memorize what was essential to the integrity of the Lanka as a whole. read more

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The Ariyan Vocation

The Ariyan Vocation is jump-started with two essential variables—Samatha (unshakable calm) and Vipassanā (clear-headed gnosis). Without them one remains bound to patterns of contingency—forever linked with samsaric strings of irrationality and chaotic consequential behaviors. Beings of a nobler-kind are like lotus-flowers that rise above the muck and mire that line the byways of those who are forever linked with ignoble enterprises. read more

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Overcoming the Double-edged Sword

3.36 Arjuna inquired, “Blessed One, what is the power that binds us to selfishness? Yes, what is behind that self-destructive force to commit actions that are contrary to our will?” read more

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Bodhisattvahood, Part 3


One dominant component of the developing (bodhichild) Bodhisattva is commonly referred to as mindfulness; it is more singularly employed within Unborn Mind Zen as the Recollective Resolve, or smŗti. Smŗti is indeed that essential element within the developing gotra (bodhi-seed) as it continually gestates within the Tathagata-garbha (dharma-womb). Usually, this most singular display of mindfulness is misconstrued as one being “mindful in the moment”—as if this is some substratum of Mind that generates stillness when, in effect, it does just the opposite: it keeps one perpetually fixated on the Moving Principle as manifested within phenomena, i.e., present-moment being just that—some “thing” to keep one’s mind engrossed upon and hence entrapped in that diurnal wheel of samsara. Smŗti is that inner Resolve that “turns about” from the Moving Principle and Recollects That Animating Impetus within the Sacred Heart of Suchness…thus being Bodhi-minded and not moving an inch to the allures of samsara. Smŗti is the Right Entrance into the Light of the Unborn and the “mindful” Bodhisattva no longer pays any attention to anything that is adverse to It. If the adept keeps faithful to Smŗti then one will never become distracted or riddled with the anxious confusion of the meandering monkey mind. This is known as cultivating self-possession in light of the Buddhadharma. Without cultivating Smŗti then one will forever be held hostage to the raging vijñānas, forever entangled in the serpentine-grip of avidyā. It’s been said that whoever loses Smŗti loses Deathlessness; but whoever rightfully employs Smŗti will have the Deathless as ones constant companion. read more

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When the adept’s perceptional faculties are regenerated, all discursive associations dissolve away like shadows disappearing into the deepening twilight. One awakens beyond the mundane affairs of the heavy-laden body consciousness into the boundless miracle of the deathless principle. There is no turning back; if one were to rekindle just one former attachment, then sweet union with the unborn is lost. All one need do is to allow this regeneration of one’s former pattern of existence to emerge. To paraphrase a familiar spiritual proclamation, “And I live, now not I, but the Unborn Spirit liveth in me.” read more

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