Find A Photo Of Any Great Saint And Be The Light In His Eyes: By Joyce Short
“I have been wondering about how the emulation of Ramana Maharshi can in any way be practical. Anyone who wishes to respond to this question is invited to give hard evidence direct from their own life. I’m talking about jobs, family, fights with the spouse. I’m not talking about a review of what Ramana Maharshi said.”
I’m an ordinary lay/householder wife/mother/granny etc. practitioner, mainly from the Buddhist tradition but I follow Ramana Marhashi’s advice which is pretty similar to Zen. Before I follow any advice or practice I check out the teacher (and their students). I was impressed to learn that he waited upon those in his Ashram, treated everyone alike – didn’t make any fuss about himself and his suggestion for practice is quite simple – cuts through directly -and can be done any time, any place and by anyone. I’d like to be “like him” -human potential fully realized and so I ponder his life and in this way he is a “model” – one amongst many.
“Who Am I?” really, really asking -who is writing, who is washing the dishes, who is walking down the street, who is angry, depressed, fearful, suffering, happy, kind, who feels equanimity, who feels loss, who is pissed off with husband, friend, lover, who wants to paint, write books, who prays, sings, laughs, crys, moans and whinges. Who sees injustice, who serves, who marches with placards, who votes, who mops the floors, who pees and poops, who is hungry, who is sick, who has babies, who worries, worries about the kids and who are the children? who breathes, who laments and best one yet, who dies? Who sees, who hears, who touches, who tastes, who thinks, who feels sensations, likes and dislikes? The delightful scent of insence arising – who knows this, who experiences? Who has a body, who has a mind? Who investigates?
One is then in the light of mind immediately, although one might not notice as this is so obvious. Who doesnt notice, who doesnt understand and so on. Any practice done correctly and passionately leads to equanimity – and joy and tranquillity. And from this place practice is even easier. The waves of mind have calmed down, body aligned with health, mental turbulence gone and mind sees into the ultimate nature of things and into the world beyond what we know of it.
This and any practice sincerely done is what sustains the world and relieves its suffering state. Its the only radical political action that has any real effect. It is the only way to achieve a meaningful life. Speaking from experience one discovers courage, kindness, joy, compassion, insight and Heart that were temporarily buried under suffering self and broken-heartedness.
But, like anything, you can’t just take my word for it. You have to find a practice, or Way that calls you and you need to be willing to cultivate Great Mind for all of your life. This happens to be our Purpose in being alive. For some strange reason, not many want to do this activity we call a “spiritual” way. I don’t know what sustains their life -so we will have to do it for “them.”
This notion of “enlightenment” is called in some places awakening the mind of bodhicitta – in some this doesn’t awaken, in you, it evidently has (to obtain this precious human body and then to have access to spiritual teachings is considered great good karma) -so you follow it like the flower follows the sun (you don’t have any choice at this point so just give in to it) -its a Great Adventure and marvelous people met along the way. And so if an ordinary housewife can dance with this anyone can. “Pole, pole”, or “slowly, slowly” as the Kenyans say.
Find a photo of any great Saint and be the Light in His eyes.
Joyce Short is a contributor to both the HarshaSatsangh and NondualitySalon mailing lists.
The image was taken by Jason Gregory