The Art of Love

The final instruction Jesus gave to his disciples at the last supper was,
‘Love one another as I have loved you’.
He was once asked, ‘What is the greatest commandment?’
He replied,
’There is one God and you must love the One God with your whole heart, your whole mind and your whole soul.’
And the second commandment is,
Love thy neighbor as thy self.
It should be noted that to Love was given as an instruction by the Lord. It is stated as a Law. One seeking to fulfill the highest purpose of a human life must practice love.
Love is an art that one spends a life mastering. Everyone wants to love but as in any art it requires the full commitment of the artist. To master any fine art one must learn, develop skills through constant practice, and devote oneself with discipline and perseverance to mastering the art.
Love is the essential experience of the human life. Everyone seeks to be loved, wants to love, and believes he is capable of love.
We say we love our children, our spouse, perhaps our country and our work.
But to wish to be an artist does not make it so. We may wish to make music, and most of us are capable of making music, but to master an instrument and create beautiful harmony requires a full application of ourselves to the task.
There are three forms of love: Instinctual, Emotional, and intentional or ‘Conscious’ love. Jesus was speaking of Conscious love.
We love our children but that is an instinct that serves to preserve the human species. Animals have the same instinct. The physical attraction between men and women is based on instinct, it is biology and chemistry. Certain ‘types’ are attracted to one another. (How often have we heard it said,’ she, or he, is not my type.) Instinctive love is a part of our nature, it is an urge that we satisfy, though some choose to ignore the impulse.
Physical attraction draws men and women to each other, but it is not a basis for an enduring relationship for like anything physical it tends to run down.
The second type of love is emotional. It is based on identification of what I see as being familiar and heightening the sense of myself. Our children are similar to us and very familiar in nature. The attention and responses of loved ones heighten our self awareness. The attention of others is pleasant and so many of our actions are done to evoke a response that is pleasant. This is an immature manifestation of love. Often it does not serve the beloved. Children may be given pleasant things that are not to their benefit, we call this spoiling the child. The ‘gift’ is given for the benefit of the adult, not the child. Between adolescents we see ‘puppy love’. Perhaps she is struggling with her weight, and he gives her chocolates. The gift is not for her, it is to endear her to him.
Emotional love is not for the benefit of the other, it is selfish. Emotional love may evoke a positive response for awhile but it soon turns to indifference and then as it is recognized that it is not in the interest of the beloved, it turns to dislike, even hatred.
These are not the forms of ‘love’ the master teachers spoke of. The art of love is the act if intentional or conscious love, to assist others in the fulfillment of their lives.
Jesus taught mankind the way of love.
He taught through parables, stories laden with levels of meaning that are revealed to the disciple according to his level of understanding.
The study of philosophy is the way of reason. Christ taught the way of love. Love and reason are like the two wings of the dove; both are needed to transcend the material world. Some of the parables appear in more than one gospel. The parable of the fishes and loaves appears in all four Gospels. It’s told a total of seven times. (Matthew 14:17; 15:34; 16:9; Mark 6:38; 8:5; Luke 9:13; John 6:9) It is a parable about the power of love.
Jesus departed out of the city and a large crowd followed to hear him teach. And when evening came and time to depart, Jesus said, (Matthew 15:32) ‘I have compassion on the multitude.’ He said, ‘They cannot travel home without nourishment for many will fall faint.’ But his disciples said, (Matthew 15:34) ‘But we have but seven loaves and a few fishes.’ And Jesus took the loaves and fishes, and looking up to heaven, He blessed them and gave them to His disciples to give to the people. And after they had eaten the remnants were gathered and they filled twelve baskets. And those that had eaten were more than five thousand.
‘He hath compassion on the multitude.’ It is love that performs the miracle. The fishes and loaves, like the Sower’s seeds, are His teaching. ‘For man cannot live by bread alone but by every word from the mouth of God.’ (Matthew 4:4; Luke 4:4) The blessing, the teaching, originates with Christ, but it is passed on by the disciples; for it is through men and women living according to the example of Christ that divine love manifests among mankind. The multiplication of the loaves and fishes allows all to receive what they need, for what appeared to be want was revealed to be abundance. The ‘multiplication’ is the manifestation of love in the lives of men and women. This is the power of love, what appears to be want is revealed to be universal abundance.
The Upanishad says, ‘The good is one, the pleasant another, both command the soul. The good is often pleasant, but not always. The aim of action toward an other of whom we profess to care about, is not to please, but to uplift. We nurture their finer impulses. We help them to nurture the finer, not the courser aspects of their nature. Very simply we care for them.
The law of relationships is, What we care for we learn to love. And Conscious love evokes the same in response. Whereas physical attraction diminishes over time, and emotional love evokes indifference and animosity; Conscious love endures, it grows and develops over time and is the basis of the vow ‘until death do us part’.
Love is the impulse that sustains the creation, and plays an essential role in the unfolding of our lives. It is a role we all seek to play, and most realize how well we play that role determines our well being and happiness.

The ordinary way of thinking is we love someone and so we take care of them. But in practice it is what we take care of that we grow to love. And ‘loved ones’ that we neglect we soon cease to love. How we love is governed by natural law and higher law. The role is determined by the relationship. The law allows us to play our roles well.
Honor thy mother and father.
A child loves his parents he can hardly do otherwise, the child is dependent on parents for his survival and development. His work is to obey, listen and learn.
In doing so the child learns respect for authority and law which are essential later.
The love and care of children is a challenge that requires our continued best efforts. The child will accept whatever he is given, the adult has the power and experience to discriminate between finer and courser, between the good and the pleasant; the child does not. Provide the young child with measure, consistency and order. Children are extremely receptive, they will take in whatever is presented to them, but the ability to discern has not developed. A young mind and heart will take the color of any die it is dipped in. But the child does not have the capacity to understand complex issues and subtleties. Adults sometimes say they don’t want to ‘shelter their children,’ out of fear that they will be unprepared to face life’s challengers. But childhood is a time to develop emotional strength, confidence, and faith in oneself. This is the development that will prepare them for the challenges of adult life.
Parents have a responsibility to protect their children from many things, one of them is failure. We want to teach children to succeed and we do this by placing them in situations and before challenges that they are capable of overcoming. And then providing the vigilance and whatever is needed to insure the child succeeds, whether that is help with a lesson or a stern word when it is needed for direction.
For the first five years the child’s primary teacher is the mother. She can provide all that is needed for the child’s development. Today children often leave the home for school or day care at three or younger. It may be thought that the variety of experiences will advance the development but it also fosters uncertainty and confusion. The child often returns home having learned behavior that the parents find less than desirable. During the early years it is not so important what behavior the child manifests, they will simply imitate whatever they see and hear. What is crucial is the parent’s reaction to the behavior. Parents must be alert to what their children are learning outside the home and careful to react so as to encourage good behavior and discourage bad. We do the child no favor by allowing bad behavior, in childhood they will suffer little consequence, but as the child reaches adolescence and beyond anti social behavior has serious consequences. The student who misbehaves will meet punishment and academic failure. The incorrigible adult will suffer economic and social failure and incarceration. Discipline must never arise from anger but from reason motivated by the child’s best interest. A child who escapes discipline will not escape it later in life. There is the question of physical force. It may be necessary to correct antisocial behavior.
Question, how much force?
Answer, enough to correct the behavior.
If the attention is consistent little force will be required. The disapproval of a loving parent will be painful enough.
The classic fairytales did not confuse children with ‘shades of grey.’ The hero is good, hansom or beautiful, truthful, kind and unselfish. The villain is mean, unattractive, greedy, devious, and lies. And although the good is tested it is stronger than evil and it prevails.
The pure, innocent, receptive, undiscerning nature of children requires that during the formative years, until the age of ten, they should be presented with what is beautiful and harmonious. This helps establish in the child a sense of what is right, true, and good. After ten they can be introduced to the complexities and contradictions and learn to recognize and protect themselves.
from evil; because only then can they begin to discern – to separate ‘the wheat from the chaff’.
What we give our attention to grows. Praise is a more effective teaching tool then correction. Be watchful, catch the child doing something right and praise it.
As the child matures into adulthood the role with parents change. It is no longer appropriate to be dependent. In maturity child and parent become special friends, but the respect and honor toward parents does not diminish. Many families grow apart. The adult may think he shares little in common with parents but that is an illusion. In fact there is much in common physically, emotionally and spiritually but some intentional caring is required for them to remain ‘close’. What we cease to care for, we cease to care about. As the parents age the roles reverse, the parent grows to be more reliant on their children. But the child must never forget the honor and respect that is inherent in the relationship of child to parent. One may help a parent and if asked perhaps advise, but one does not instruct or correct parents. They are to be ‘loved’ unconditionally as they did with you when your life began.
Jesus said, ‘Love thy neighbor as thy self’. Gurdjieff said an obligatory striving was to assist others in their work toward self perfection. Our friends, associates, and neighbors are not our spouses, our children or our students. The form that ‘love’ takes is different for each relationship. How do we ‘love our neighbor? ‘Love’, in this context, is not instinctive, physical, nor emotional. It is more in the nature of how do we serve our neighbor.
We may wish to give advice, but advice is like salt if it is not asked for, it is not wanted. And in regard to our neighbor it has been observed that, ‘ 95% of our thoughts are none of our business.’
Swami Muktananda* used to begin each meeting with the greeting, ‘With respect and love I welcome you with all my heart. And one of the things that made him such a beloved teacher was that was the way he spoke and acted with whoever he met weather individually or when speaking to a group of hundreds of visitors.
It is a high bar, an example set by a teacher many considered to be a saint. But we are capable of serving our neighbor. We seek to be of use, to be men and women of substance and when we are not we feel unfulfilled because we know that among the qualities of our true self is generosity and strength.
The first quality we seek to manifest in the company of others is honesty.
This serves others and our self. For in order to experience unity there must be an alignment of thought, word and deed. And this alignment requires vigilance.
It begins by not allowing the mind to dwell on the failings of others. We remember the devil’s pitch fork – criticism, comparison, and judgment and when we note those thoughts we let them pass. This allows us to speak truthfully when it is of use to the listener and to not speak that which is untrue. These practices purify the mind and heart and simplify the life. If one does not lie he is relieved of the necessity of remembering what he said previously.
For speech to be useful it need only be remembered that,
SPEACH IS FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE LISTENER.
Listening is a valued commodity today. We pay therapists and consultants to listen to us and help us hear what we said. It has always been the function of the priest, doctor, and elder to listen. The ability to listen is growing weaker as well as rarer. In Shakespeare’s time people did not go to see a play they came to listen and the ‘audience’ ( from ‘audio” – to listen) were rewarded with examples of the finest phrases in the English language. The performers did not repeat their lines they ‘rehearsed’ them, ‘re heard’ them. They listened to the lines spoken until the words and meaning were heard at a profound level of understanding. The performers were then ready to present them to be heard by the ‘audience.’
To fall still and listen without judgment, to listen with one’s full attention, is to love, it is one of the highest forms of care we bestow on another. Perhaps we have had the experience of listening to a child while reading or being otherwise engaged. The child will not accept it, he will pull on your sleeve or make a fuss to attract your full attention. They do so because we all need this form of love as much as we need water.
One of the services we perform for our neighbor is forgiveness. In The Lord’s Prayer Jesus instructed us, ‘to forgive trespasses’. In the Orthodox Christian Church one cannot approach the altar to receive communion if one is holding a grudge or ill will toward any one. If one seeks union with the Lord one must first seek harmony with one’s neighbor. This is practical advice, marriage counselors often instruct couples not to retire in the evening angry. There can be no unity without forgiveness.
As a practical matter one needs to avoid making enemies. If one treats all with respect and compassion, and refrains from judgments, criticism and comparison one moves easily through the professional and personal relationships that fulfill our life. Circumstances may part us from the company of some but it is good business and common sense to leave on good terms. Circumstances change and a person one has little use for today one may meet later in different circumstances. And when that happens, you will be glad to have parted on good terms.
A divorce lawyer told me of a trial where the issues were difficult and the parties were angry and agitated. The attorney worked hard to resolve the issues and not be dragged down by the negativity. Several months later the opposing law firm called to offer him a job, which he accepted. He had succeeded in performing his job in this hostile environment filled with anger and hatred without creating enemies.
We are not speaking here of passivity or weakness,
We must learn to be simultaneously, the gentle dove, and the cunning fox. In the Vedanta philosophy the word ahimsa means harmlessness. As in the practice of medicine the doctor is taught the first principle is, ‘do no harm’. But we must have the strength and vigilance to protect ourselves from the inferior qualities of others. Kindness does not imply weakness, in fact it requires strength to be of use to others or yourself.
The ultimate service we provide another is to be aware of the example we set. People are far more influenced by our actions then our words. Looking back on my life there are memories of people I cared about following the example set by my ill advised behavior. I watched them suffer the consequences and found it disconcerting.
BE A GOOD EXAMPLE.
Jesus’ life embodied Conscious Love. The effect and power were such that it uplifted civilization for over 2000 years. He instructed us ‘To love one another as I have loved you. In those moments when we ‘Love thy neighbor as our self,’ the effect can not be underestimated. A conscious moment is a moment in eternity and the effects reach out through time and space beyond the power of our perception.
I knew a lady who taught first grade for over thirty years. She was a talented and devoted teacher who loved her children and was loved and respected. Near the end of her career she received a book in the mail with a heartfelt dedication from the author to his first grade teacher whom he considered one of the most important influences in his life. The teacher was moved for she had no idea her attention had made such an impression.
***

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A Change in Perspective

            Consider the revelation that was experienced by Copernicus. He was a priest, scholar, and an astronomer, who had the benefit of the observations and notations made by many astronomers over several centuries.  Although they had meticulously plotted and noted the movements of the planets against the back ground of distant stars, yet they did so from the prospective that the center of the solar system was the earth, and that everything they could see in the evening sky revolved around the earth.  From this false prospective they could not discern the laws that governed planetary movements. Their path across the night sky seemed erratic and arbitrary. (the word ‘planet, means wanderer) At times the planets appeared to stop and move backwards. (this was due to their elliptical orbits around the sun.)  Copernicus believed the world was created by God and governed by law and principles that were omnipresent. He could not accept that the movements of the celestial bodies were random and chaotic. The path of the moon was predictable, how was it that he failed to discern the order in the movements of the other bodies he observed in the evening sky? His faith in a creation governed by a Universal Intelligence compelled him to seek the truth. Copernicus realized that the moon orbited the earth but the planets orbited the sun. He observed the same planets as his predecessors but with the true prospective he was able to calculate their orbits and predict their locations. Soon after the publication of Copernicus, other observers were able to discern the laws and principles where before they could only see random movements. Keplar wrote of the harmony of the celestial bodies.  He calculated all the ratios of the octave from his observations of the seven planetary bodies he could see. Isaac Newton then elucidated the laws that governed the movements of the planets and all matter.

            Our inability to discern the order and harmony intrinsic to our lives arises from our egocentric view, the view that the individual is separate and distinct from everything outside his body. From this self-centered prospective every impression is discerned from a desire to satisfy the individual’s wants and needs. The true prospective to be realized is that our true Self is consciousness, and the one consciousness is the essence of all and everything. Observation from an awareness of a larger sense of Self – of a Universal Consciousness, reveals order and law (Dharma) in every aspect of life.

P.D. Ouspensky, a Russian philosopher and teacher wrote Tertium Organum In it he explored the idea of a fourth dimension, relating it to infinity and time.     ‘Things are linked together not by time but by an inner connection, an inner relationship. And time cannot separate things which are inwardly close and follow one from another… Phenomena which appear to us totally unrelated may be seen by another wider consciousness as part of one whole. Side by side with our view of things, another view is possible, another method of perception, a new understanding that regards a phenomenon not as something isolated, but in conjunction with all the chains intersecting it.’

Carl Jung wrote of what he called The Law of Synchronicity – of events that are clearly connected though there is no apparent physical connection.  He used as an example: a woman orders a blue dress, a black dress is delivered and the same day a loved one dies. We have all had such experiences.  The obvious connection cannot be dismissed as random chance or ‘coincidence’, for it is known that on some level the events are connected. Such events are evidence of an underlying unity, a unity of which we have occasional glimpses that may reveal profound insights.

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Welcome to The Journey Back!

This is the second issue of a monthly journal of essays, stories, and quotes to help illuminate the way for men and women who travel this road toward Truth and Self-Discovery. We have the benefit of the conscious work, love, and sacrifice of the men and women who have searched for sacred knowledge, worked to realize that Truth in their life, and pass it on to other seekers.

 

The Vagabond

There was once a wanderer who spent his days walking from place to place in the search for his next meal and a place to rest.  Once, after a long night during which he had found neither food nor rest, he found himself, just before dawn, standing in front of a wall.  He was very hungry, tired, and dirty.  But most of all, he was hungry.  He realized that the king’s garden was on the other side of the wall and he thought, “Perhaps I will steal into the garden and eat some fruit.”

Desire, thought, action, is the usual progression, and so he climbed over the wall and fell into the garden.  He got up, waited a minute for his eyes to grow accustomed to the predawn light, and then walked to the center of the orchard where he hoped to pick some fruit.  He took a winding path through the garden and found his way to the fruit trees when he heard someone coming.  He looked around and was full of fear.  He was too far from the wall to get back without being seen, and there was no place to hide.  He was sure he would be seized and thrown into the king’s dungeon.   In an act of desperation, he sat down, crossed his legs, closed his eyes, and pretended to meditate.

          The king and his attendant were taking a morning walk.  When they entered the orchard they saw the man and the king stopped.  He said in a whisper, “Ah, a holy man has graced our garden with his presence, let us not disturb his morning meditation.”  He turned and walked down another path, he said to his servant, “Go and attend to his needs.”

          The vagabond sat in a terrible state of agitation while trying to sit still and appear calm and serene.  He had heard people approach, and now it seemed they had walked away.  He sat for a few minutes controlling his trembling.  He was about to open his eyes when he heard people coming back.  They came very close and then withdrew.  Whatever was happening?   After awhile he opened one eye a crack and saw that he was alone.  Before him were a, a bathing bowl filled with warm water, towels, soap, oil and brush for his hair, and a clean linen garment.  He sprang up, looked at the wall, and at the bath.  He had not bathed in a long time and so he removed his garment and bathed.  When he finished he put on the clean garment, he looked at the hanging fruit, and the wall.  But before he could decide he heard people returning.  Filled with terror he sat down and again pretended to meditate.  He was sure this time he would be seized and punished.

Again he heard people approach very close and then withdraw.  When he opened his eyes the bath and dirty linens were gone and on a blanket was a breakfast for a king.  There was fresh bread, fruits, juices and buttered tea, sweet meats and several delicacies.  It was a meal better than he had ever eaten.  When he was finished he pulled the blanket around him and fell into a deep sleep. 

          He awoke to the sounds of the birds, the late morning light illuminated the beautiful garden.  He stood up and stretched.  He was clean, well fed, and rested.  He looked around and stood in wonder at his good fortune and then he had a thought so surprising that he sat back down, “If all this happens from pretending to meditate, what would happen if I actually did meditate!”

                                                 

                                      ***

         

At times we sit to meditate and the mantra is overwhelmed with thoughts and imaginings. It is not enough to sit for awhile, to pretend to meditate.  We must take up this mantra we have been given, let it fill our heart and mind and lead us home to the Kings garden –  the kingdom of our Self.

 

                                          ***

 

I met a man on a hiking  trail.  He said he was out for a week.  He was traveling light.  He had no tent.

He said he liked to sleep in a hammock under the stars, and wake up looking at the sky.

It sounded very appealing.

Then I asked, ‘ But what if it rains?

He said, ‘ You take the bad with the good.’

            I suspect he was a happy man.

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Great Reviews for East Meets West!

“East Meets West is a fascinating story that is well told. The chapters reveal how that migration [of ancient spiritual knowledge] was precipitated by a few inspired men and women of uncommon courage and discipline.” —Vincent Dubiansky, President, Georgia Philosophy Foundation, Inc

“After reading East Meets West one feels as if one has been taken on a spiritual journey at high speed. [It] is packed with detailed information, striking quotes and lively dialogue … I highly recommend [it] to a wide audience.” —Dorine Tolley, author of The Way of Hermes and The Power of Now

“The transmission of Vedanta philosophy and the methods of Yoga from India to the West is one of the most important phenomena of the modern era. It has already transformed the way people understand religion and practice their spirituality, and that process seems destined to continue, just as the flow of Western technology and industry to India will continue. In East Meets West John Adago engagingly describes some of the most significant figures in this subtle and profound history. It is a welcome addition to the global conversation.” —Philip Goldberg, author of American Veda: From Emerson and the Beatles to Yoga and Meditation, How Indian Spirituality Changed the West

John Adago’s book, East Meets West in my personal opinion is the unequivocal “go-to” book for anyone wanting to learn the impact of Eastern spirituality on the Western world.  This book chronicles the history of when Eastern philosophy was first introduced along with projections of where this impact will take us in the future. Kudos John for your years of dedicated practice and research on this subject. (Philippe SHOCK Matthews: Host the Philippe Matthews Show -www.thePMshow.tv | Executive Director of the HOW Movement - www.HowMovement.org)

Shakespeake Ethic

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Interview with John Adago about East Meets West

This is a recent interview aired on Feburary 17, 2014 on WOCA 1370 Gainsville, Florida. If you’re interested in interviewing me about East Meets West you can email  me at johnadago@gmail.com

Enjoy

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Welcome to the Journey Back

This is the first issue of a monthly journal of essays, stories, and quotes to help illuminate the way for men and women who travel this road toward Truth and Self-discovery. We have the benefit of the conscious work, love, and sacrifice of the men and women who have searched for sacred knowledge, worked to realize that Truth in their life, and pass it on to other seekers.

This is an interactive journal.  Essays, stories, and quotes are welcome, also questions about the Work, philosophy, and the history of the Teachers as well as their organizations.  Submit material and questions to johnadago@gmail.com

East Meets West

Now available in bookstores. Ebook version is also available through www.amazon.com.

Excerpt from East Meets West by John Adago

I went to India in search of a school or schools. I realized that
personal or individual efforts were insufficient and it was
necessary to come in touch with the real and living thought
which must be in existence somewhere, but with which we had
lost touch. I was going to ‘seek the miraculous,’ I had come to the
conclusion that there was no escape from the labyrinth of contradictions
in which we live our life except by an entirely new road.
The ‘miraculous’ was a penetration beneath the thin film of
our superficial life to an unknown reality. And it seemed to me
that the way to that reality could be found in the East.

P. D. Ouspensky

 

***

EMOTIONS

Dr. Francis C. Roles said, “The meditation is half of the business; that, as the mystics say, you give up all of your willing and thinking, and then you will hear the truth. That is half of it. The rest of your life you have to be somebody of good thinking and good will, otherwise you get into frightful trouble! If you meditate and then go and think nasty things about people I am told God does not like it.”  

To be is to be positive. To be negative is to not be. Ouspensky spoke of the importance of not expressing negative emotions. Leon MacLaren wrote, “The expression of negative emotions leads to endless pain and suffering.” We are asked not to direct feelings that have a negative charge at other people. Anger, indignation, ridicule, jealousy, criticism, etc., are some of the negative emotions we direct at each other. 

A common response to this instruction is that it is unhealthy to suppress one’s feelings. Negativity that builds up in the emotional and physical body needs to be eliminated. Some is eliminated when we sleep. It can be eliminated by crying, laughter, meditation and one pointed attention, that is, devoting oneself completely to a task or activity. It is eliminated through exercise and strenuous activity. These means of eliminating negativity are beneficial and necessary. 

Directing an angry outburst at another is a different matter. The negativity is not eliminated, it is inflicted on another; and in the interaction it is magnified and increased. We have all witnessed an angry word grow into an argument. A loss of temper rarely results in action appropriate to the situation and generally has the opposite effect of what we intended. We may experience satisfaction from blowing our top but then we live with the negative consequences long after the incident. The outburst weakens the relationship, has a deleterious effect on health, burns up the subtle energy that is needed for wakefulness, and leaves a residue that is an impediment to meditation. This is common knowledge, so why is this behavior so prevalent? We take in impressions of light and sound and often convert them to coarse emotions and feelings. This conversion of a finer substance to a coarser substance serves nature and so we are compelled to do so even though the process does not benefit men and women or mankind. We have often noted that negative behavior is unbecoming, unreasonable, and destructive. It is the light of reason that will allow us to refrain from this habitual behavior. We need to cultivate the habit of never thinking of the defects of others, nor our own. Our attitude should be to look past them.  Let good thoughts prevail—this is the practice of purity in our daily life.  And so we “Forgive trespasses,” and are forgiven. 

        A part of this work is to convert negative emotions to positive, to return fine for course. We can meet anger with understanding, frustration with patience, hatred with empathy. Instead of reacting to the negative emotion we transform it within ourselves. The negativity is reduced instead of being amplified by our reaction.   

The key to everything we do is attention and intention. Both require presence, cognizance, playing an active part in the moment. When we act from habit with half-hearted attention, then the intention is always the same—it is self-serving.  We live much of our lives in a daydream, a melodrama. We are fascinated by this melodrama because the star of the story is always “me.”  Generally there is little we can change about the circumstances we find ourselves in. But we can change the emotional ground, the attitude, the purpose of the action we take in response to the situation. We can speak because we enjoy the attention and reaction of the listener or we can speak for the benefit of the listener. The former is habitual the latter is a conscious act.

The real work in a conversation takes place in the listening. Listening is a rare commodity today. People pay a therapist hundreds of dollars an hour to listen. It has always been the function of the doctor, the priest, or a true friend to provide this service. When one falls still, and gives whole-hearted attention to another, a space is provided that allows both people to grow in understanding. Dr. Roles said, “To fall still and listen without judgment is to Self remember.”

             This work is about knowledge that results in a change in being. The growth in being will result in us becoming what Leon MacLaren called “men and women of substance, who can be of service to humanity.” An action performed without love is a chore. Work with love becomes an act of devotion.

***

Words of The Wise

Inscribed above the entrance to temple at Delphi at Mt. Apollo

Know thyself

Measure is all, take nothing in excess.

Movement from movement is agitation, movement from stillness is creation. One learns to be happy without being excited and disappointed without being agitated.

– Sitaram Jaiswal

Readers are invited to submit essays and stories as well as questions that may arise from their spiritual pursuits; a group will attempt to provide answers.

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Welcome to The Journey Back

This is the first issue of a monthly journal of essays, stories, and quotes to help illuminate the way for men and women who travel this road toward Truth and Self-Discovery. We have the benefit of the conscious work, love, and sacrifice of the men and women who have searched for sacred knowledge, worked to realize that Truth in their life, and pass it on to other seekers.

This issue coincides with the publication of East Meets West by John Adago. Published by Shepheard-Walwyn Publishing, Ltd. of London, it is now available  in the US, Europe, and Australia

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Distributed by Independent Publishers Group (IPG), the book will be available in stores in paperback as well as in electronic book form from Amazon.

The journal will be posted on this site and can be emailed to you at no cost. Email johnadago@gmail.com to receive the e-journal. Your information will be held in confidence.

This is an interactive journal.  Essays, stories, and quotes are welcome, also questions about the Work, philosophy, and the history of the Teachers as well as their organizations.  Submit material and questions to the email address above.

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