I AM WRITING THIS piece in the exquisite autumn silence of rural France where a solitary blackbird outside my patio doors is singing heartily to me to make sure I remember that nature is at its happiest when left alone. Mr Merle (the French word for blackbird) periodically repeats his chorus to make sure I am listening properly and haven’t missed a note. I certainly am; I dare not. The trilling of this beautiful songster has prompted me to write for you after a little while of absence.
A walk down a leafy, deserted country lane this afternoon after a good homemade lunch of leek soup, baguette and cheese took me past a herd of curious young cows who gazed benignly and inquisitively at me wondering why I was talking to them; obviously, I didn’t manage cow language but I did my best to impress – I was hoping for a clamber up and visit to the rusty green gate where I was leaning. But comfort overcame any friendliness they may have felt towards me, and they remained seated on the grass, happy to engage simply from afar. A dappled grey obviously thought the same and carried on munching something delicious. I noticed the wide, beautiful and innocent eyes of both the cows and the horse showing just a gentle inquiry, sensing no danger, and actually, we could have stared at each other for hours.
I have only been chased once recently by a herd of cows when I did the same in 2010, but I was walking through the field with my dog. Suddenly, there was a thundering of hooves as bovine bodies came pounding down the hill in my direction, and on high emergency alert, I grabbed the pooch and legged it back to the field gate as fast as I could! But, although there were a few young males in the herd, I think it was the females who chased me, and when they came to the gate, it was obvious all they wanted to do was to say hello! I was by then on the other side of the gate, quite willing to stroke their noses, but profoundly relieved I could tickle muzzles from the people’s side of the field!
There used to be an old British saying that if cows are sitting down, rain is on the way. Let’s see if that still holds today…
When I escape London, I take the chance to read favourite iconic literature, and this time I brought with me my old copy of Seven Years in Tibet by Heinrich Harrer. (I didn’t like the movie at all.) It particularly interests me because, although an Austrian, he was the first English tutor of EmW’s esteemed patron, His Holiness the Dalai Lama. I have a great fascination for Tibet and every time I head towards the Himalayas, I always ask my agent if he can find a way for me to get into Lhasa! Up to now, it’s been a no, but when I travel to Bhutan next spring, I will have another damned good try to worm my way in!
On my first trip to Nepal in 2003, I was overcome with the beauty of the Tibetan faces mingling with the Nepalis. Refugees from the Chinese, they have the most beautiful bone structure and array of sublime facial features I have ever seen. I am not somebody who likes to photograph people without asking, but it was all I could do to control myself. Centuries upon centuries of exotic high-altitude subsistence culture are embedded in every fascinating facial plane, and it is as if you can read every chapter of every generation of a long family lineage. I’m hooked helplessly every time.
As the spiritual masters of Tibet have introduced their unique exoticism to the world since the final escape of my patron from his beloved homeland in 1959, we have been introduced to Tibetan Buddhism ONLY because of his flight to safety. I said this when I was invited to his office in London to discuss EmW – something which his office appreciated very much. His Holiness is very beloved today and his simple message of compassion is something everybody understands without needing to read any sutras or learn complex ancient Asian languages.
I also would like to mention one other master whose satsangs I have finally found posthumously in written form. When I was first introduced to him in 2013, there was some blip on the internet and all references to him vanished within an hour. I think it was a legal case of copyright initiated by his family. I am talking, of course, of Robert Adams (if that was his real name).
What I particularly love about this man is his refusal to stray from his illumined state of pure realized love when he gave satsang. The mystery about who he really was and his sketchy life story actually is not important at all. I also honour that he never charged a dime for his spiritual meetings in truth (meaning of satsang), although his means were very few. His words are pure God; he describes EXACTLY who you really are, (and as I personally realized so dramatically in 2012).
I do not, nor cannot and will not call myself a teacher. Of what? To whom? All I can do is write about the things that point to my ultimate emptiness aka bliss – something which is also yours. This is not a bliss which is relative, this is a permanent wide-open awareness which needs nothing because all there is the “gaze”. To be absolutely correct, not the gaze, but “the gazing”. In the foreword of the document annotating Robert’s spiritual meetings, it is described that he would often sit for hours staring into space without blinking. I remember those days when I did the same. I still do, but busy myself with life and family matters because I choose to, but I actually need do NOTHING AT ALL. I could sit in this chair for the rest of my life and not move a muscle, because there is nothing to do. However, I have always been active, and God in this form likes to play and make a lot of silly fun.
There comes a point when there is nothing more to say, and those who have realized the true Self know this and often fall quiet. I guess that is why I don’t often write regularly any more. Who knows what will come next? I certainly don’t.
“Voila!” as they say in France.
Here is the link to that magnificent document I mentioned of Robert’s work which I am reading now. It contains over 2500 pages of his/God’s words:
Selima Gurtler is a distinguished spiritual writer, philosopher, poet and Jnana yogi.
Her modern observations to Self-Realization and Liberation are uniquely flavoured through the perceptive eyes of her Indian and European heritage.
Free copies of her books are available for download here: https://www.emwpeace.org/publications/
His Holiness the Dalai Lama and His Grace Archbishop Desmond Tutu are patrons of her work.