Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Kōan, "One Hand Clapping" | Zen Practice to test a Students Progress : Lahiri Mahasaya

"What is the Sound of One Hand Clapping?" was a story used to test a student's progress in the Zen Practice. I was lead to it after I heard Lahiri Mahasaya, also known as Shyama Charan Devi Sharman Lahiri (1828-95) clap in my cycling class after calling him into the room silently to help make it a great experience. The clap was very loud and came from inside the room, from the right back corner. Then he returned again, as if to squash any doubt I had by becoming a brilliant lightening bolt, which lit up the room with the most intense light I had ever seen. My eyes were closed as I was in the zone riding to the last song, and the light blasted through the darkness. I had only one student in my class during this metaphysical encounter on Monday around 9:20am on April 18th. My student, Alison knew someone was in the room, there was no mistaking it. She kept saying, "wow, something is in the room!" I said, "yes, I know who, a Yogi I called in from the book, "Autobiography of a Yogi."  I know these visits are gifts from Sir Lahiri Mahasaya. I looked up what his message could have been to me with the "loud clap". I thought maybe it was his funny playfulness applauding my bike ride, but today, upon looking deeper into it's meaning, I google searched, "Lahiri Mahasaya Clapping" and found that it was a test of a student's progress in the Zen Practice! I got so excited, I have posted the audio track below and below a photo of Yogi Master Lahiri Mahasaya. I am working on Non-Duality, and the story came just in time, I had slipped off a bit from this concept. I aim to be a great student and continue my inward communication with the self, called 'samadhi', my own light. “All the world’s possibilities in man, are waiting as the tree waits in its seed.” - Savitri, Sri Aurobindo  
Lahiri Mahasaya
From a Brief History of Everything by Ken Wilber
You know the Zen Kōan  “What is the sound of one hand clapping?” Usually, of course, we need two hands to clap—and that is the structure of typical experience. We have a sense of ourselves as a subject in here, and the world as an object out there. We have these “two hands” of experience, the subject and the object. And typical experience is a smashing of these two hands together to make a commotion, a sound. The object out there smashes into me as a subject, and I have an experience—the two hands clap together, and experience emerges.

And so the typical structure of experience is like a punch in the face. The ordinary self is the battered self—it is utterly battered by the universe “out there.” The ordinary self is a series of bruises, of scars, the results of these two hands of experience smashing together. This bruising is called Dhaka, suffering. As Krishnamurti used to say, in that gap between the subject and the object lies the entire misery of humankind.
But with the non-dual state, suddenly there are not two hands. Suddenly, the subject and the object are one hand. Suddenly, there is nothing outside of you to smash into you, bruise you, torment you.

Suddenly, you do not have an experience, you are every experience that arises, and so you are instantly released into all space: you and the entire Cosmos are one hand, one experience, one display, one gesture of great Perfection. There is nothing outside of you that you can want, or desire, or seek, or grasp—your soul expands to the corners of the universe and embraces all with infinite delight. You are utterly full, utterly saturated, so full and saturated that the boundaries to the Cosmos completely explode and leave you without date or duration, time or location, awash in an ocean of infinite care. You are released into the All, as the All—you are the self-seen radiant Cosmos, you are the universe of One Taste, and the taste is utterly infinite. So what is the sound of that one hand clapping? What is the taste of that One Taste? When there is nothing outside of you that can hit you, hurt you, push you, and pull you—what is the sound of that one hand clapping? Here is my Youtube right after the visit from Lahiri Mahasaya.

Investigating the subject of the "unseen reality" lead me to The World Sound Healing Conference in San Francisco to hear a lecture on The Quantum Harmonic Oscillator. The room went dark and three pyramids projected on a large screen.


"You can hear the sound of "nature" between the Pyramids of Giza," Dr. Susan Yale said, pausing, "it's a perfect F Sharp." No one moved. She spoke slowly, "If you knew there was a place in the world where you could hear God, would you go?" I always wanted to swim down the Nile. 
I hurried to get home and pack for Egypt! But, before I could get there I stopped for a coffee and was thunderstruck by a Scandinavian man. He was sitting at a long wooden table reading a thick book. How elegant he was with his tailored pants, shirt with cuffs, blond wavy hair and piercing blue eyes. I sat down next to him with my coffee-to-go. He looked up at me. Five minutes after hello, he was coming with me to Egypt! Clink the link to continue reading my memoir—"From Hollywood to God" on Amazon and Kindle books.

Giza, Egypt
Hiking through Bhutan

Tiger's Temple, Thailand
River Kwai, Thailand

Peru
Tiger's Nest Bhutan


Click link— "From Hollywood to God"  to read my memoir.
The Kingdom of Bhutan