Hello Everyone. It is beautiful to meet with you here, at the foot of this extraordinary sacred life form, Mt. Shasta.
Blessedly we have natural monuments representing huge, steady, deep, powerful life forms, like Mt. Shasta. But if we could speed up time, we would see a time when Shasta wasn’t here, a time when it rose up, and a time when it won’t be here again. In recognizing the beginnings and ending of even the most monumental of life forms, we can also recognize what holds it all: what holds that which we appear in, that which we live because of, and that which we disappear back into; which the whole of creation eventually disappears back into.
The great benefit of our human life form, is that we can turn our consciousness back toward what is present in all life forms. That is life, of course. You do not have life form without life.
What is life, and does it exist independent of its form? When you and I die, when our bodies drop, when Mt. Shasta returns to dust, does life die?
If you ask these questions very deeply of yourself, there is a possibility of discovering what is immortal. Not you as your body, or as your personality, or even as your soul (if you think of your soul, as some kind of amoebic-like thing). Life--life energy--is immortal.
Once there is the divine flip of individual consciousness back into its true identity as life itself – before, during, and after life form – then time experienced in and as life form is free. It is free, and it is sacred. It is not free of pain, it is not free of troubles, and it is not free of disease. It is not free of death. But it is free in that it knows itself to be life. And while it may be attached to a particular life form – you, me, others, Mt. Shasta – there is a deeper irrevocable attachment to life itself. That shift is the end of being haunted by the death of life forms and the beginning of recognizing the sacredness of life itself, both formless and formed.
The Buddhists speak of it as emptiness: form as emptiness, and emptiness as form. Emptiness has a weird sound to our Western ears sometimes. It can also be named pure life. This that animates the form is alive as consciousness.
These flowers in this vase have been cut, and they are already dying, but they are still radiating life. Even when they are dried up they will radiate life. Even if there is a picture of them after they are long gone and extinct, you can still be struck by their radiation of life.
I saw a video of Papaji’s bones being burnt in a funeral pyre, his pelvis and his skull cracking. Papaji’s form is gone. But the life he recognized as his true self remains. Maybe your mother’s form is gone, your father’s form is gone, your child’s form could be gone, your husband, your wife, your friend, your enemy…gone, but the life they represented in their short time is still here.
The recognition of life itself is extraordinary, and the possibility of this recognition is that you recognize yourself as life itself – not separate from this form, but free of it. Then you live your life as a sacred life; as a precious experience that will be over, that will end. Your recognition of yourself as life offers the flavor of your life form to the precious sacred experience of life itself.
There are certain places like Mt. Shasta, or certain gatherings, and certain experiences that turn your life around. They are to be honored as precious forms that somehow penetrated and pointed back to this that is always here, sacred, and precious at all times.
Our brief time together in this meeting, and individually in these forms, can be a deep recognition of that, a profound honoring of that, and an always-deeper investigation of that. Then the human mind is turned to something more than finding what is wrong; it is actually turned to the wonder of existence.
It contributes to the evolutionary thrust to discover what is wrong, and it is important to see where there are mistakes, so that they can be corrected. But if that is all we are seeing, then there is a deep, unnecessary suffering that results from dishonoring the precious sacredness of life.
It is my intention, as being a part of this beautiful gathering of individuals, that we collectively discover what is the same in each of us. It is my intention that that be discovered in a way that nothing can dislodge it. No amount of trouble, no amount of disease, no amount of pain can dislodge this deeper peace, as surrender to your self as life.
Just take a moment. Life… You don’t have to know anything else. You don’t have to know any metaphysics. You don’t even have to know the words life form, life, consciousness. Just stop for a moment… Life… Whether it’s a good life, a bad life, a successful life, or a failure of a life. Life… Just the wonder of that can obliterate all of the dishonoring of it. In an instant. In this instant.
It is my conviction that that sacred recognition is what brings us together in this meeting this afternoon, in this Holy place. This Holy meeting. These Holy life forms.
I bow to you as myself in that, and I receive you as myself, and meet you as a deeper investigation of that.