Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Wondrous Journey: Guest Teaching by Ilie Cioara

Welcome to Awakening Clarity.  If this is your first visit to our site, we're delighted to have you here.  If you're returning for time two or two hundred, we appreciate your enthusiasm and promise to do all we can to hold it. Interest remains keen in our Guest Teaching Series, of which this post is the fourteenth.  I can't properly offer enough thanks to the many people who've allowed us to profile them and their work, and for the work others are putting in to bring this to you on a weekly basis.  It's an honor and a privilege for me to help provide this service.  

THERE'S NOTHING I'VE EVER DONE that's opened me up any further or faster than this aptly named website, Awakening Clarity.  It certainly continues to awaken me, and to foster a clearer and clearer view of Reality.  And within my experience here, it is this Guest Teacher Series that has helped me open up to the many different approaches to the One Thing Going On.  I think it has helped sponsor within me what two of my mentors, Scott Kiloby and Greg Goode, refer to as plurality.  Somewhat counter-intuitively we encounter rich multiplicity within the Singularity.  Ramesh Balsekar called this Unicity, meaning--I think--that unity and diversity appear simultaneously.  It's important that you see this for yourself.  Let's face it: no teacher including this one is ever telling the truth.  We're all lying at the very highest level that we can.

 ILIE CIOARA is our Guest Teacher this week, and his appearance is a bit different from what we've done before. The author of this week's post died in 2004.  He was an almost unknown Romanian mystic who lived much of his life under Soviet occupation.  As a result, his practice was solitary and hidden.  He began his spiritual life as a Christian mystic, but at some point switched over to mantra meditation. After two decades of disciplined practice he came face-to-no-face with Reality in 1971, he shared his vision for the next 30 plus years.  Much of that was stowed away prior to the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1990.  He taught quietly from that time until his death.  Surviving photos of him are not clear, so I've kept them small to keep us out of pixel shock.

PETRICA VERDES (Deva Daan), whom I'm pleased to call my friend, is also a Romanian mystic, though he's lived all over Europe, is the editor and translator of not only this post, but also of four of Ilie's books.  Two of those are in already in print, a third is in the final stages prior to print, and the fourth is in the works.  Bringing this tetralogy to light is a noteworthy publishing event.  Petrica's organization and translation is as artful as his subject matter.  Those of you who have read multiple translations of the same text, or who've done some translation work yourself, know just how vital and difficult this can be.  How do you separate Coleman Barks from Rumi, or Rumi from Coleman Barks?

I FIRST MET PETRICA shortly after starting Awakening Clarity.  He bumped into it and wrote me about his first translation of Ilie Work, Silence of the Mind, and we exchanged several emails.  I was leery at first, because some of Ilie's background stretched into areas I didn't--and still don't--know anything about. Nonetheless, we continued to talk and each letter got warmer  on both sides as we grew to know each other, like each other, and respect each other.  He sent me the book, which I promised to either review positively, or not at all.  I don't write bad reviews for spiritual books; I could well be the one who's got it wrong.  Why let my ignorance harm someone else who's doing their best to be part of the solution?  At any rate, it was only after I read Ilie's poetry and prose commentary that I realized my new friend was a major talent and that his subject and muse, Ilie Cioara, was a deep, still water with the ability to communicate that stillness to us through both words and the spaces between the words.

PETRICA AND I have since written each other countless times.  I've reviewed his second book, The Wondrous Journey, and written a sort of "internal review" of another, I Am Boundlessness, that will appear within the book itself.  I'll share that with you here; it's sort of my final word on Ilie and Petrica's work.

I Am Boundlessness is a gift from one who has seen the truth to all of us who are trying to see it for ourselves.  Ilie tells us over and over that seeing this truth for ourselves is all that counts.  He asks us to simply use these words to cross the gap and then to let them fall and melt away like snowflakes on warm ground. It’s good advice.  If you are looking for a bridge, look no further. It is in your hand right now.

Ilie Cioara sings like an angel, calling us Home; his heart is on every page.  Ilie’s poetry actually guides us toward that Light.  It is beautiful, lyrical, and deeply moving.  Petrica Verdes is a gifted translator and an artist; he paints with the master’s words and his canvas is spaciousness itself.

Petrica was good enough to agree to write a short introduction about Ilie and to present a generous selection of what I see as their work to share with us.  The pieces that appear here are drawn from Silence of the Mind and The Wondrous Journey. As always, there will be links at the bottom of the post to help you locate Ilie and Petrica's work, and to find out more about both of them.  It's a great personal pleasure to feature Petrica in Awakening Clarity.


ILIE CIOARA was an enlightened mystic who did not belong to any lineage. He is unique in a way, in the sense that he lived in almost complete isolation, in Eastern Europe in a communist country, completely oblivious of nonduality, zen etc. Originally a Christian mystic, he practiced a mantra for over 20 years. One day, he felt an intuitive impulse to drop the mantra, and just practice the silence of the mind, by listening to the noises on the street, in the now. After following this practice for a few years, one morning, as he was waking up from his sleep, he suddenly experienced Enlightenment. His description of meditation is fresh and devoid of any tradition and jargon.

HIS WRITINGS in 16 books describe the experience of meditation and enlightenment, as well as the practice of “Self-knowing” using all-encompassing Attention. Like Ramana Maharshi, Krishnamurti, Ekhart Tolle, his is a simple message of discovering our inner divine nature through the silence of the mind.

THE SILENCE OF THE MIND and The Wondrous Journey are the first in a tetralogy by Ilie Cioara being published by Obooks. Soon to follow: Life is Eternal Newness in July 2012 and I Am Boundlessness October 2012.

PETRICA VERDES (Deva Daan) is a translator and seeker of truth. He has been practicing meditation and living in various meditation communes in Italy, Germany and the UK. Translating Iie Cioara’s work has been a labour of love and a process of spiritual growth.

AND NOW . . .

The Wondrous Journey into the Depth of Our Being

Ilie Cioara

IN THE WHOLE UNIVERSE there is nothing static, dead or frozen. Everything, but absolutely everything, is in eternal movement. Even within the so-called still nature reigns the same intrinsic law of movement.

MOVEMENT AND NEWNESS, in perfect interconnectedness, affirm themselves as uniqueness. In this context, the moment represents the hand of the clock, used by Infinity in order to record the movement of Eternity. It is always new, as well as creative and transformative, in an ascending manner, progressively.

IN ORDER TO BE ABLE to encounter the newness of the aliveness in its movement, we must come out and greet it the same way. Thus, we don’t return to the past, to what happened, nor do we project ourselves into the future, in pursuit of an imaginary purpose or ideal to fulfill.

WITH A COMPLETELY EMPTY MIND we simply watch life as it unfolds. Nothing comes between us and the movement of life, in the form of images, opinions etc. Such a simple and direct meeting with the moment transcends us spontaneously from the finite world into Infinity.

AND JUST AS QUICKLY, like lightning, we detach, in order to be free again, and therefore completely available to encountering the next moment. Nothing is anticipated and nothing is accumulated from the lived moment.

THE PURITY AND INNOCENCE of the mind is our constant companion, as each moment becomes an opportunity of creative “being”. Through this way of “being” – as pure Consciousness – we ourselves create a new world in which Love, beauty, compassion and kindness become a reality positively influencing the whole of humankind.

The Power of Emptiness

The “void” or “psychological emptiness” is a strange phenomenon,
It appears spontaneously, in the pause between two thoughts;
As the old thought ends its course and disappears,
Its end is the gate, natural silence ensues.

Insist in being with it, as much as you can,
The mind is completely silent, we are attentive – a clear consciousness,
All meanings, boundaries disappear – us and the Infinite are “One”;
Practically, we have a new mind – always fresh.

Being in the pause – I become infinite!
It separates two worlds. I leave the limited world
And enter Boundlessness, through total melting;
The whole being is calm – a constant sparkle.

There is no time, no space – just everlasting Eternity;
I move in direct contact with life, in a permanent present.
I am Pure Energy, without motivations,
The simplicity of existence integrates us completely.


HOW CAN WE FREE OURSELVES from the past and the future? It is all very simple! With a lucid, all-encompassing Attention, we will watch every reaction of the mind, without pursuing any purpose or goal. Everything we encounter in such a manner disappears; in the void which appears spontaneously, an unlimited energy is available at our fingertips and we are able to understand the absolute Reality through a direct experience.

IN THIS STATE, we acquire a great sensitivity and everything that life brings forth in its natural flow is being regarded and appreciated with love and kindness.

MAN IS TRULY WISE only when, detached from his selfish “self”, united with Infinity through non-action and an aware passiveness of the mind.

THIS MYSTERIOUS ENCOUNTER is accompanied by simplicity. Once the past has disappeared, we are integrated in the now and, with a clear and lucid mind, we watch everything that comes as constant freshness from one moment to another.

Encountering the Boundless

It is impossible to embrace and comprehend the
Infinite Universe
With the limited “ego”;
All is experienced in total silence,
Free from time – the being and the mind are newly born.

Thus, I am Immensity, in perpetual movement,
In Unity with the Whole – a creative structure –
I see, feel and act in perfect union with the Sacred,
I use language to describe Wisdom.

One with the Boundless, I am Happiness,
A divine gift, with no support in the thought process;
Happiness has no motives – a supreme satisfaction,
To which, consciously or unconsciously, each human being aspires.

THE LOVE DIMENSION is known by different names: Truth, Reality, God, Immensity, the Infinite, Intelligence etc.

THE VERY MEANING of the words which define it express the fact that this dimension has no bounds.

IN THIS DIMENSION, no faiths, ideals, desires or any such similar ideas can exist, as they are encountered in the limited dimension. For this reason, in this wondrous climate there is no struggle, contradictions, confusion, pain, hate etc.

BOUNDLESSNESS cannot be comprehended by imagination or by thought; there is nothing we can say about it. We can only describe and explain that which our mind can encompass. In the face of Limitlessness, the mind is poor, completely unable to understand it. In fact, the moment Immensity affirms itself within us, as a living state of the integral human being, the “ego” dimension and its limited way of expression does not exist anymore.

THERE IS NOT MUCH we can say about the experience of living in the dimension of Love. Nevertheless, we will try to express certain feelings and states of being encountered in this state.

IN COMPLETE UNION with Love, we are perfect peace, we live total freedom; the very notion of “self” is missing, although we are endowed with a clarity and sensitivity of the mind such as we have never encountered in the limited realm of thinking.

BY MELTING WITH SILENCE, we become that silence, equilibrium and harmony, free from duality: our being is extended into Infinity. Practically, by experiencing “psychological nothingness”, the “ego” disappears and, in its place, Immensity envelops us wholly and we become one with It. Integrated into the Great Cosmic Energy, we continue to exist as a state of super-consciousness.

THE MOMENT WE ENCOUNTER true Happiness, we are in fact outside time and space. The “ego” – with its intrinsic duality – has completely disappeared.

IF THE "EGO" DOES NOT EXIST anymore, who can evaluate this happy fulfillment?

IN THAT MOMENT, the Sacred within us, also existent in the whole universe, becomes one “Whole” and a Unique movement, in a permanent renewal.

DO WE TRULY EXPERIENCE this union, or do we merely understand it intellectually? You alone can answer this question.

EACH HUMAN BEING - from the moment of birth until the moment of the so-called death – persistently searches for this mysterious Happiness. Unfortunately, most people make the mistake of searching for it with the thinking mind.

BECAUSE HAPPINESS HAS NO MOTIVATIONS, It is not part of the limited world. Its nature is infinite; therefore the knowing mind cannot encounter It, or understand It, or imagine It.

HAPPINESS COMES TO US BY ITSELF, and It envelops our whole being when the mind becomes humble and silent, as it has understood its inability to encounter the Unknown.

LUCID ATTENTION – with Its flashes – dissipates all the darkness, as well as the baggage of the dysfunctional mind.

IN THE EMPTY SPACE of peace or no-mind, our being is extended into Infinity; in that moment, the Divinity within us reveals we are one with the Source of the Sacred. In conclusion, let us add that in the environment of “Pure Consciousness”, Happiness is present as a natural fulfillment and It is unlike anything that can be found in this perishable world.

 Petrica Verdes

Excerpts from The Silence of the Mind and The Wondrous Journey by Ilie Cioara
Copyright 2011, 2012 Ilie Cioara, Petrica Verdes
All rights reserved, used by permission 


On Amazon US and UK:

On Barnes and Noble: 

On OBooks:

Interview with Petrica at Nonduality Magazine:

Article on Ilie Cioara in Yogi Time:

Article about Ilie and Petrica on Clear Sight:

From Upcoming Interviews on Buddha at the Gas Pump:

My book reviews of Ilie's books on Amazon:

The Wondrous Journey:
Silence of the Mind:

Housekeeping Notes: 
Many thanks to Chris Hebard, owner of the remarkable website, Stillness Speaks, for sending free, fabulous material (DVDs) to help broaden Awakening Clarity's reference library--and the librarian's understanding.  That kind of support means so, so very much.  Thanks, Chris!