A human being is a part of the whole, called by us ‘Universe,’ a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest - a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security.
The mandala is the privileged place, the axis of the mental and physical universe where the follower realizes the space. The psychic and physical life of the individual reflects that of the universe.
"Know yourself and you will know the universe."
~Jan Hollan took these photos from the roof of the Nicholas Copernicus Observatory and Planetarium in Brno. He used a wide angle adaptor, and captured these images when the sky cleared, toward the end of the "European" aurora on Jan 21, 2005.
Enlightenment is not something that we can acquire through an action. It is a deep inner knowing from which successful action proceeds. Rituals, which are very powerful and necessary,, can also be misunderstood, and function as a distraction.
For a long time, I had a long list of rituals that I believed I had to do before I could make contact with God. I thought I had to get up at a certain time in the morning, take a cold shower, do a certain number of yoga postures and breathing exercises, perform a certain preparation for meditation, and then (I believed) I could go within and experience my inner peace. And it worked. I grew tremendously from this practice - but there was a flaw in the way I was doing it.
My mistake was that if I was occasionally unable to perform my rituals, I would feel frustrated and unfulfilled. I felt as if I was not prepared for the day, as if I had missed something. I had the mistaken notion that my happiness depended on these exercises. I believed that God is something that could be accomplished, when it is a Presence that needs only to be recognized.