Friday, October 25, 2019

SFTS Lodge Dharma Message for September-December 2019: "By the inquiry ‘Who am I?’. The thought ‘who am I?’ will destroy all other thoughts, and like the stick used for stirring the burning pyre, it will itself in the end get destroyed. Then, there will arise Self-realization."




Excerpts from the Pamphlet "Who Am I? (Nan Yar?) Teachings of Bhagavan Ramama Maharshi"   

8. What is the nature of the mind? 

What is called ‘mind’ is a wondrous power residing in the Self. It causes all thoughts to arise. Apart from thoughts, there is no such thing as mind. Therefore, thought is the nature of mind. Apart from thoughts, there is no independent entity called the world. In deep sleep there are no thoughts, and there is no world. In the states of waking and dream, there are thoughts, and there is a world also. Just as the spider emits the thread (of the web) out of itself and again withdraws it into itself, likewise the mind projects the world out of itself and again resolves it into itself. When the mind comes out of the Self, the world appears. Therefore, when the world appears (to be real), the Self does not appear; and when the Self appears (shines) the world does not appear. When one persistently inquires into the nature of the mind, the mind will end leaving the Self (as the residue). What is referred to as the Self is the Atman. The mind always exists only in dependence on something gross; it cannot stay alone. It is the mind that is called the subtle body or the soul (jiva).

9. What is the path of inquiry for understanding the nature of the mind? 

That which rises as ‘I’ in this body is the mind. If one inquires as to where in the body the thought ‘I’ rises first, one would discover that it rises in the heart. That is the place of the mind’s origin. Even if one thinks constantly ‘I’ ‘I’, one will be led to that place. Of all the thoughts that arise in the mind, the ‘I’ thought is the first. It is only after the rise of this that the other thoughts arise. It is after the appearance of the first personal pronoun that the second and third personal pronouns appear; without the first personal pronoun there will not be the second and third.

10. How will the mind become quiescent? 

By the inquiry ‘Who am I?’. The thought ‘who am I?’ will destroy all other thoughts, and like the stick used for stirring the burning pyre, it will itself in the end get destroyed. Then, there will arise Self-realization.

11. What is the means for constantly holding on to the thought ‘Who am I?’ 

When other thoughts arise, one should not pursue them, but should inquire: ‘To whom do they arise?’ It does not matter how many thoughts arise. As each thought arises, one should inquire with diligence, “To whom has this thought arisen?”. The answer that would emerge would be “To me”. Thereupon if one inquires “Who am I?”, the mind will go back to its source; and the thought that arose will become quiescent. With repeated practice in this manner, the mind will develop the skill to stay in its source. When the mind that is subtle goes out through the brain and the senseorgans, the gross names and forms appear; when it stays in the heart, the names and forms disappear. Not letting the mind go out, but retaining it in the Heart is what is called “inwardness” (antarmukha). Letting the mind go out of the Heart is known as “externalisation” (bahir-mukha). Thus, when the mind stays in the Heart, the ‘I’ which is the source of all thoughts will go, and the Self which ever exists will shine. Whatever one does, one should do without the egoity “I”. If one acts in that way, all will appear as of the nature of Siva (God). 

For a free .pdf of "Who Am I? (Nan Yar?) Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi," available from Sri RamanaAshram, follow this link

Friday, October 4, 2019

SFTS Lodge Calendar of Friday Evening Events for October-November 2019




[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, October 4th
Lodge Video Night: 
Our Planet (Episode 3: Jungles)
With David Attenborough


Friday, October 11th
Baseball's October Planets: 

The Astrology Behind the Crowning of Champions
-- Cesar Lover, Author of "Baseball: An Astrological Sightline"

Friday, October 18th
Yoga Nidra
-- John Paul

Friday, October 25th
NO MEETING. Lodge Closed. Honoring Samhain/Halloween.

Friday, November 1st
NO MEETING. Lodge Closed. Honoring Samhain/Halloween.

Friday, November 8th
The Bard in the Bardo:
Visual and Sonic Echoes of A Dimension Dancer
-- Jonathan Jay Levine

Friday, November 15th
Living the Intuitive Life
-- Ankke Orryn

Friday, November 22nd
Yoga Nidra
-- John Paul

Friday, November 29th
NO MEETING. Lodge Closed. Joyous Thanksgiving!



Wednesday, July 31, 2019

SFTS Lodge Calendar of Friday Evening Events for August-September 2019

Main Altar, 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, August 2nd
Extended Library Hours 6-8 P.M. No Formal Meeting. Join Us. Browse the Collection. Sip Tea.


Friday, August 9th
Death Cafe, Opening to the Alchemy of Life
-- Marjory Mejia


Friday, August 16th
Autoethnography of An Eco-Sexual Priestess 
(Part II: Encounters with My Faery Beloved)
-- Dr. Megan Rose

Friday, August 23rd

Yoga Nidra
-- John Paul

Friday, August 30th
NO MEETING. Lodge Closed. Labor Day Holiday.


Friday, September 6th
NO MEETING. Lodge Closed. Labor Day Holiday.


Friday, September 13th
Conversations in Theosophy


Friday, September 20th
The Cauldron of the Dark Goddess, the Secret Engine of the World, the Riderless Horse that Crossed the Himalayas, Legends of the Ancient Future

-- Richard Power

Friday, September 27th
Extended Library Hours 6-8 P.M. No Formal Meeting. Join Us. Browse the Collection. Sip Tea.



Sunday, July 28, 2019

SFTS Lodge Dharma Message for July-August 2019: “There is no more time for what we used to do. Now you must employ all the not-doing I have taught you and stop the world.”

Carlos Castenada -- Journey to Ixtlan: Lessons of Don Juan (1972)
Excerpts from "Journey to Ixtlan The Lessons of Don Juan" by Carlos Casteneda (Simon and Schuster,1972):

Reaffirmations From The World Around Us (pp. 25-26)

“When will you be home?” I asked. He scrutinized me. “”Whenever you come,” he replied.” “I don’t know exactly when I can come.” “Just come then and don’t worry.” “What if you’re not in?” “I’ll be there,” he said smiling, and walked away.
I ran after him and asked if he would mind my bringing a camera with me to take pictures of him and his house...I staged a weak final complaint. I said that pictures and recordings were indispensable to my work. He said that there was only one thing which was indispensable for anything we did. He called it, “the spirit.”
“One can’t do without the spirit,” he said. “And you don’t have it. Worry about that and not your pictures.”
“What do you. . . .”
He interrupted me with a movement of his hands and walked backwards a few steps.
“Be sure to come back,” he said softly and waved goodbye.

Losing Self-Importance (pp. 44-45)

Upon arriving at the hillside I found a whole cluster of the same plants. I wanted to laugh but he did not give me time. He wanted me to thank the batch of plants. I felt excruciatingly self-conscious and could not bring myself to do it.
He smiled benevolently and made another of his cryptic statements. He repeated it three or four times as is to give me time to figure out its meaning.
“The world around us is a mystery,” he said. “And men are no better than anything else. If a little plant is generous with us with must thank her, or perhaps she will not let us go.”

Assuming Responsibility (pp. 65-66)

“You are complaining,” he said softly. “You have been complaining all your life because you don’t assume responsibility for your decisions. If you would have assumed responsibility for your father’s idea of swimming at six in the morning, you would have swum, by yourself if necessary, or you would have told him to go to hell the first time he opened his mouth after you knew his devices. But you didn’t say anything. Therefore you were as weak as your father.
“To assume the responsibility of one’s decisions means that one is ready to die for them.
“It doesn’t matter what the decision is,” he said. “Nothing could be more or less serious than anything else. Don’t you see. In a world where death is the hunter there are no small or big decisions. There are only decisions that we make in the face of inevitable death."

The Gait Of Power (pp. 192-193)

“It’s funny the way you sometimes remind me of myself,” he went on. “I too did not want to take the path of a warrior. I believed that all that work was for nothing, and since we’re all going to die what difference would it make to be a warrior? I was wrong. But I had to find that out for myself. Whenever you do realize that you are wrong, and that it certainly makes a world of difference, you can say that you are convinced. And then you can proceed by yourself. And by yourself you may even become a man of knowledge. “
“A man of knowledge is one who has followed truthfully the hardships of learning,” he said. “A man who has, without rushing or faltering, gone as far as he can in unraveling the secrets of personal power.”

Stopping The World (pp. 292-293)

“We both are beings who are going to die,” he said softly. “There is no more time for what we used to do. Now you must employ all the not-doing I have taught you and stop the world.”
He clasped my hand again. His touch was firm and friendly; it was like a reassurance that he was concerned and had affection for me, and at the same time it gave me the impression of an unwavering purpose.
“This is my gesture for you,” he said, holding the grip he had on my hand for an instant. “Now you must go by yourself in those friendly mountains.” He pointed his chin to the distant range of mountains toward the southeast.
“What am I suppose to do there?” I asked.
He did not answer but looked at me, shaking his head.
“No more of that,” he finally said.
Then he pointed his finger to the southeast.
“Go there,” he said cuttingly.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

SFTS Lodge Calendar of Events for June-July 2019


[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, June 7th

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


Friday, June 14th 
Honoring our Godparents Joe and Guin Miller
-- Hakim Sauluddin Barodofsky and the Dervish Healing Order

Friday, June 21st
Yoga Nidra
-- John Paul

Friday, June 28th
NO MEETING. Lodge Closed. Independence Day, May the Goddess of Liberty Bless Us, E Pluribus Unum

Friday, July 5th
NO MEETING. Lodge Closed. Independence Day, May the Goddess of Liberty Bless Us, E Pluribus Unum

Friday, July 12th
Vigil -- "Lights of Liberty" 

[NOTE: We will meet at Lodge at 6:00 pm. At 6:45, we will walk together to the cable car turnaround at Powell and Market, for a candlelight vigil in support of human rights for refugees. Of course, you can also just meet us there. Om Tara Tutare Ture Soha, Om Tara Tutare Ture Soha, Om Tara Tutare Ture Soha.]

Friday, July 19th
Autoenthography of An Eco-Sexual Priestess
(Part I: Journey to My Divine Self)
-- Dr. Megan Rose

Friday, July 26th
Yoga Nidra
-- John Paul

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

SFTS Lodge Dharma Message for May-June 2019: Pema Chödrön -- "The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times"


pemachodronfoundation.org

The teachings of Pema Chodron offer an authentically 21st Century articulation of the Buddha Dharma: fearless, female, eminently practical and imbued with psychological insights. Here are some excerpts from her "The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times" (Shambhala, 2002):

“When we touch the center of sorrow, when we sit with discomfort without trying to fix it, when we stay present to the pain of disapproval or betrayal and let it soften us, these are times that we connect with bodhichitta.”

“Each moment is an opportunity to make a fresh start.”

“The essence of bravery is being without self-deception.”

“Patience is the training in abiding with the restlessness of our energy and letting things evolve at their own speed.”

“Even when our neurosis feels far more basic than our wisdom, even when we’re feeling most confused and hopeless, bodhichitta—like the open sky—is always here, undiminished by the clouds that temporarily cover it.”

“A warrior accepts that we can never know what will happen to us next. We can try to control the uncontrollable by looking for security and predictability, always hoping to be comfortable and safe. But the truth is that we can never avoid uncertainty. This not knowing is part of the adventure, and it’s also what makes us afraid.”

“Transformation occurs only when we remember, breath by breath, year after year, to move toward our emotional distress without condemning or justifying our experience.”

“Interrupting our destructive habits and awakening our heart is the work of a lifetime.”

“Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It's a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity.”

“A further sign of health is that we don't become undone by fear and trembling, but we take it as a message that it's time to stop struggling and look directly at what's threatening us. ”

“Rejoicing in ordinary things is not sentimental or trite. It actually takes guts. Each time we drop our complaints and allow everyday good fortune to inspire us, we enter the warrior's world.”

“This is the path we take in cultivating joy: learning not to armor our basic goodness, learning to appreciate what we have. Most of the time we don’t do this. Rather than appreciate where we are, we continually struggle and nurture our dissatisfaction. It’s like trying to get the flowers to grow by pouring cement on the garden.”

“I feel gratitude to the Buddha for pointing out that what we struggle against all our lives can be acknowledged as ordinary experience. Life does continually go up and down. People and situations are unpredictable and so is everything else. Everybody knows the pain of getting what we don’t want: saints, sinners, winners, losers. I feel gratitude that someone saw the truth and pointed out that we don’t suffer this kind of pain because of our personal inability to get things right.”

“Strong determination is our commitment to use our lives to dissolve the indifference, aggression, and grasping that separate us from one another. It is a commitment to respect whatever life brings. As warriors-in-training we develop wholehearted determination to use discomfort as an opportunity for awakening, rather than trying to make it disappear. How do we abide with disagreeable emotions without retreating into our familiar strategies? How do we catch our thoughts before they become 100 percent believable and solidify into “us” against “them”? Where do we find the warmth that is essential to the transformative process? We are committed to exploring these questions. We are determined to find a way to realize our kinship with others, determined to keep training in opening our mind. This strong determination generates strength.”

“Throughout my life, until this very moment, whatever virtue I have accomplished, including any benefit that may come from this book, I dedicate to the welfare of all beings.
May the roots of suffering diminish. May warfare, violence, neglect, indifference, and addiction also decrease.
May the wisdom and compassion of all beings increase, now and in the future.
May we clearly see all the barriers we erect between ourselves and others to be as insubstantial as our dreams.
May we appreciate the great perfection of all phenomena.
May we continue to open our hearts and minds, in order to work ceaselessly for the benefit of all beings.
May we go to the places that scare us.
May we lead the life of a warrior.”

Pema Chodron - The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times

Friday, May 3, 2019

SFTS Lodge Calendar of Events for May 2019



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, May 3rd
White Lotus Day -- Celebrating the Life, Work and Abiding Spirit of HP Blavatsky

Friday, May 10th

Intersections of Spiritualism, Theosophy, Yoga and Progressive Social Movements -- Ankke Orryn

Friday, May 17th

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

Friday, May 24th

NO MEETING -- Lodge Closed In Honor of the Fallen for Memorial Day Weekend

Friday, May 31st 
Lodge Video Night: Our Planet (Episode 2: Frozen Worlds)