Thursday, March 1, 2012

Flowers of the Tree of Life and Sunflower of the Heart: Guest Teachings by Francis Lucille

WELCOME to the seventh installment of Awakening Clarity's Guest Teaching Series.  One week at a time we're building what is effectively becoming the Who's Who of contemporary Nonduality.  We hope to become the standard reference source for sampling teachers and teachings.  It's a great way to see how well you resonate, or to simply get a fresh perspective on Nondual teachings in general.

FRANCIS LUCILLE is one of Nonduality's clearest vessels.  A native Frenchman, Francis graduated from the Ecole Polytechnique in Paris.  He was trained as a scientist; as a physicist and mathematician, and spent his working career practicing in both that field, and as a diplomat.  After doing inquiry on his own for a couple of years he met his teacher, Advaita master Jean Klein.  Jean Klein's own mentor was Pandit Veeraraghavachar Rao, also known as Panditji, who was a professor at the Sanskrit College in Bengalore in the 1950s.  Jean also knew Sri Atmananda Krishna Menon, the modern founder of the Direct Path.  Francis has also been very influential in carrying the message of freedom.  He was a significant influence for Greg Goode, and the teacher of Rupert Spira and Chris Hebard (of Stillness Speaks), and many, many others.

Now retired from his former career, Francis regularly works with dedicated truth seekers from his home in Temecula, California and through retreats.  He holds satsangs that are both enlightening and entertaining in Temecula on most Saturdays and Sundays and those can be attended via Internet video.  As always we have helpful links at the bottom to help you further pursue these teachings.

I want to thank Rupert Spira for helping me engage this week's Guest Teacher.  Francis has generously provided us with printed transcripts of guided meditations he gave in Canada some years ago.  They are simply tremendous: beautiful and moving, they opened me up as if he was in the room speaking just to me.  I hope they are just that wonderful for you. I'm betting they will be.

And now . . .

Flowers of the Tree of Life
A guided meditation by Francis Lucille
Ottawa, Canada
April 30, 2003

TURN YOUR ATTENTION towards the Presence in you, which is aware of these words. 

Now ask yourself the question, “Where is this Presence, which is aware of these words and these thoughts, located?”  Make this determination based upon your own experience in this very moment, not based upon what you have read in books.  And you may have a first answer that would say that this Presence is located in the head somewhere.  Now take a closer look at this first answer.  You will see that this first answer is a feeling, a sensation located in the head or in the chest or somewhere else. This first answer is a sensation, a localization, a location in the body. 

Now, that which appears, the answer, the localization, the sensation, seems to be localized, but ask yourself the question, “Where is the Presence, to which the localized sensation appears, located?”  If the sensation is localized does that make the Presence localized?  Ponder this based upon your experience.  In other words, “How do I know this Presence I call ‘I’ is localized?”

Find the answer for yourself. Don’t let me tell you what the answer is.  What I tell you has no value.  What you find by yourself, what you discover firsthand has value.  If you decide this Presence is localized, that’s your decision based upon your experience. It is your experience alone which makes the decision. My advice is: check it out, again and again, until you reach a rock-solid conviction one way or the other as to whether, based upon your experience, this Presence which you are, is localized or not. 

Now you may say, “I don’t know.”  Fair enough.  Or you may say, “I don’t know, but other people know.”  That’s not fair enough, because how would they know better than you where your Presence is located?  Only you know your Presence.  They know their Presence, assuming their Presence is different from yours, but they don’t know yours.  So they have truly no say as to where your Presence is located.  I have no say in this matter. That’s why I don’t want to tell you anything.  That’s why I suggest you find out for yourself.  It’s called freedom.

You have to understand the weight of peer pressure, the weight of false knowledge, or knowledge accumulated through generations, that has been transmitted to you though your genes, through your education, through your relations.  That doesn’t make it true.  The fact that knowledge has been communicated to you, imprinted on you doesn’t make it true. 

You are the gatekeeper of true and false knowledge.  You are the final judge of truth.  That’s the esoteric meaning of the ‘the final judgment,’ because you are the truth.  As Al-Hallaj said, “I am the truth.”  They killed him for having said that.

You cannot find the localization of this Presence, which is hearing these words right this moment.  Nobody can.  And if nobody can, perhaps it means that this very simple Presence is non-local, non-local meaning it is not the product of this body or this flesh.  It is more like a property of the totality, of the cosmos----if we see the cosmos as God’s creation, as God’s body.  It is one more property, one more quality of that power that created the cosmos. 

Presence, one more name for the Ultimate. 

And if we think about this body, which most of us see in isolation from the rest of the cosmos—if we take a closer look, there is no such a thing as an isolated body, other than a concept of it.  The body is in total symbiosis with the rest of the universe, with the air it breathes, with the water it drinks, the space in which it moves, the things it eats, the other beings it relates with and the stars.  And just as the body is not isolated, the mind is not isolated, always exchanging information with the rest of the universe.  So that even from the vantage point of physics or biology or information theory, we are led to the conclusion that there is no isolated system in the universe, that there are no isolated bodies. It is a childish concept to consider parts of the universe in isolation.

And if it is true that the body and the mind are not isolated, even if we believe that consciousness is the byproduct of the bodymind (since bodyminds are, in that case simply a byproduct of the totality), we have to reach the unavoidable conclusion that this Consciousness, this Presence that I call ‘mine’ is not produced by the bodymind but rather—at its deepest origin—by the totality of the universe. It is not the Consciousness of the body, but ultimately the Consciousness of the universe. 

We are the flowers of the tree of life.  Many flowers; only one tree.
In ancient times in the West, people believed that the sky was closed, that we were inside a blue sphere and that the stars were diamonds attached to the blue sphere. We believed that space was limited.  And then we knew better; we knew better because we investigated the sky.

But as we investigated the sky and the universe around us, we didn’t investigate the inside of us.  And because of this lack of investigation of the inside, we believed that our Presence was limited, that it was bounded just as we believed the sky was bounded.  And just as the boundary of the sky was a man-made creation, so the inner boundary of Consciousness, which we call ignorance, is of our own making. 

Just as the sky out there, space, the universe has always been unbounded, the inside sky of Presence has always been without limits.

Francis Lucille

Sunflower of the Heart
A guided meditation by Francis Lucille
Ottawa, Canada

OUR SILENCE IN MEDITATION is not the silence of the mind.  It is the silence of the heart.

A silent heart is a heart that is turned inwards towards its source and keeps facing that direction, like a sunflower tracking the sun.  Our hearts are tracking the sun of all hearts inside. 

How we do it is a mystery.  It is our love for truth that keeps the heart turned towards the right direction, towards the Kaaba. 

The true prayer is when the heart is oriented in the right direction.  It doesn’t matter where the truthlover is at any moment as a bodymind, provided the heart is constantly in prayer.  And the prayer isn’t necessarily something religious; it is not at all religious, in fact.  There is no obligation.  It expresses itself freely depending upon the circumstances.  It varies from one truthlover to another.  Some pray to God with their intelligence, thinking about the truth.  Others pray to God with their feelings, loving the Absolute.  Others pray to God with their sense perceptions, loving beauty.  All of those are guests inside God’s tent, guests at the celebration.

If the sunflower of the heart has tracked the sun once, it will spontaneously go back to the direction of the sun at any moment, provided we leave it alone.  It will go back if we liberate it from concerns, from thoughts, from fear, from desire, from doingness.

True prayer, true meditation cannot be manufactured.  It happens by itself.  All that needs to be done is to relax, to surrender everything which is not the meditation, everything which is not that prayer.

All we have to do is to surrender the useless agitation of the mind and of the body.  Even the word ‘surrender’ is not completely correct because it suggests a loss, it suggests a renunciation. All we have to do is to offer the tensions in the body, the fear at the level of feelings, the concern or dynamism at the level of thoughts to the Presence in which they arise. 

Leave it up to this Presence, at its own pleasure, to maintain all those phenomena or to transform them or to dissolve them.  It’s not up to us as bodyminds.  As bodyminds there is nothing we can do.  We are just moths flying in the night. 

Don’t try to figure out what it is.  Just open your heart to it, because it is sharing itself right this moment.

Just open your heart to the Presence. Don’t ask: What is it?  Where does it come from?  We’ll never know.  If you want to get drunk and somebody pours wine in your glass, don’t ask: What kind of wine is this?  Where did it come from?  If you really want to get drunk, you say nothing.  Who cares about the bottle?

If it feels dry to you, it means you haven’t dug the well deep enough to find the source. To dig the well means to let go of the concept of a personal consciousness, of a personal existence. You don’t have personal existence.  Get rid of this pet thought.  There is only impersonal existence.

Find in you the place from which love originates, love for anything.  Take anything you love, whatever you love the most---it can be an object, it can be a person, whatever---and once you feel the love, try to find the place from which the love originates.  That’s the place.  That’s the Black Stone, invisible.  And then forget everything.  Forget how you got there, forget your thoughts.

When we are in love with love we are mysteriously in contact with all of those who are in love with love, be they still in this world or in other worlds.  This connection knows no time boundaries. 

We are in touch with Rumi and Buddha and Christ and Moses.

Francis Lucille

Note: The Black Stone is a Muslim relic, which according to Islamic tradition dates back to the time of Adam and Eve. It is the eastern cornerstone of the Kaaba, the ancient sacred stone building towards which Muslims pray, in the center of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.  (Wikipedia)


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