Saturday, April 13, 2019

SFTS Lodge Dharma Message for March-April 2019: "Thatness! Is-ness! Be-ness! It's something that you have to experience. You have to function from there and BE THAT!"

Meditation Room Altar, SFTS Lodge
[NOTE: Here is a brief excerpt from "Tibetan Book of the Great Liberation" with commentary by the legendary American sage Joe Miller. The full text of Miller's Great Liberation commentary can be found in "Great Song: Life and Teaching of Joe Miller."  In "Great Song" you will also find the story of his remarkable friendship with W.Y. Evans-Wentz, the great scholar and mystic who first brought the Great Liberation to the West, and of the text's profound importance in Miller's own journey of spiritual realization.  In the 8th Century, the Vajra-yogini Yeshe Tsogyal wrote down the Great Liberation teachings of her consort, the Vajra-guru Padma Samhava. She hid it away "amidst a cache of precious things" and praying "may it be read by those blessed devotees of the future." For many decades now, at the Theosophical Society of San Francisco, the Great Liberation and the Diamond Sutra (Guin Miller's favorite text) have been read aloud from Ash Wednesday to Good Friday. Initiated by the Millers in the 1970s, this annual rededication and immersion IN the deepest, most powerful teachings has continued uninterruptedly since their death in 1992. For many years, we kept up the Millers' original model of reading the Great Liberation at 6:30 a.m. and the Diamond Sutra 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday during Lent; but recently, adapting to the ever-accelerating pace of life and the ever-increasing demands on all, we have shifted to public reading of the two texts on Friday evenings, alternating between them.]

GREAT LIBERATION: The error of doing otherwise than this arises not from Ignorance in the mind itself, but from not having sought to know the Thatness. Seek within thine own self-illuminated, self-originated mind whence, firstly, all such concepts arise, secondly, where they exist, and lastly, whither they vanish. This realization is likened to that of a crow which, although already in possession of a pond, flies off elsewhere to quench its thirst, and finding no other drinking-place returns to the one pond.

JOE MILLER: I would figure it's an awfully hip crow or else it got awful thirsty. We've got to do the same thing, get back inside ourselves and draw from that eternal fountain that never stops.
Similarly, the radiance which emanates from the One Mind, by emanating from one's own mind, emancipates the mind.  LET GO! LET GO! LET GO and LET GOD!

GREAT LIBERATION: The One Mind, omniscient, vacuous, immaculate, eternally, the unobscured voidness, void of quality as the sky, self-originated wisdom, shining, clearly, imperishable, is Itself the Thatness. 

JOE MILLER: That is the mind you're using, the ordinary mind is itself the One Mind. But you've got it caged in the little coop it's in because of what you've lived in former incarnations. Your subconscious part is telling you this is this and that is that. But right now, you're using that very thing that is the Oneness, that is the universality itself. Same as your breathing, you don't breathe yourself, you're in-breathed by the reality. You do it automatically. If you had to remember 21,600 times day to take a breath, what else would you have any time to do? But you can't put your finger on it. You can't put it into a concept. Thatness! Is-ness! Be-ness! It's something that you have to experience. You have to function from there and BE THAT! You are That anyway, why not have the experience of doing it consciously? Thatness. Clear Light. Voidness. This is something that you have to experience by being it and you can only be it by going to that center inside yourself and being IT!

GREAT LIBERATION: The whole visible universe also symbolizes the One Mind. By knowing the all-consciousness in one's mind, one knows it to be as void of quality as the sky. Although the sky may be taken, provisionally as an illustration of the unpredictable Thatness, it is only symbolically so. Inasmuch as the vacuity of all visible things is to be recognized as merely analogous to the apparent vacuity of the sky, devoid of mind, content, and form, the knowing of the mind does not depend on the sky-symbol. Therefore, not straying from the path, remain in that very state of the voidness.

JOE MILLER: Voidness or Thatness or Clear Light or Awareness. These are all synonymous terms.

Monday, April 1, 2019

SFTS Lodge Calendar of Events for April 2019

Harriet Tubman and Tara, Goddess of Mercy, An Altar at SFTS Lodge

NOTE: Remember our new start times, the Lodge Library opens at 6 p.m. and the weekly Lodge meeting begins at 7:00 p.m.]

Friday, April 5th

Extended Library Hours 6-8 P.M. No Formal Meeting. 
Join Us. Browse the Collection. Sip Tea.

Friday, April 12th
Kumbh Mela, A Photographer/Filmmaker's Journey -- Philip Safarik

Friday, April 19th
Conversations in Theosophy

Friday, April 26th
Yoga Nidra -- John Paul Gaur


Lenten Sutra Readings: From Ash Wednesday to Good Friday, we will read aloud the Tibetan Book of the Great Liberation and the Diamond Sutra on alternating Friday evenings at 6:00 p.m., starting with the Great Liberation on 3/8/19 and ending with the Diamond Sutra on 4/19/19. This powerful practice was passed down to us from by the legendary American sages Joe and Guin Miller. We have adapted it and carried it on for decades now. Join us as all we set deep mystical intentions for the rest of the calendar year.