An Inner Dialogue at the Ashram Avalokiteshvara in the hills of North Bali: Conversation with the Inner Smile

Introduction: In ancient times, whenever a holy soul heard a message within, it was often called a revelation.  In this day and age, if anyone dares to call themselves hearing revelations, be prepared to be called mentally ill.  In the explicist West, there is Neale Donald Walsch who calls inner conversation “Conversation with God”.  In the implicit East, such titles will be categorized as impoliteness.  Here is the inner dialogue at the Ashram.

Questioner: Many people asked, what did you get from 2 weeks of practising silent?

Inner Smile: Many people measures their spiritual achievement by things that they get.  Only few people that measures their spiritual attainment by things that was given up.  And practising silence releases a lot of unnecessary toxins inside.  From arrogance to ego. During the silence moment, it seems that the world has its own logic, and we also have our own logic.  The two are often incompatible.  If you can be calm and balanced, that is a very good death practice.  In the first day of death, such conditions will most probably also be the case.  It is like releasing a bird from a cage, once the bird is released, the cage becomes empty.  It is this emptiness that makes many impossible things becomes possible.

Questioner: Sadly, many people fear the void of silence.  They are afraid of being visited by demons.

Inner Smile: It is all depends on one’s intention to enter the void of silence.  If a person goes there because he feels abandoned, has no hope for the future, or even more feels for doing suicidal act, then emptiness becomes very dangerous.  But if one enters the void of silence with the noble intention to beautifying one’s soul, not only this is a practice to perfecting one’s service, the void of silence also contains a lot of brilliance of Light.  In short, it is impossible for darkness to enter if the room is full of Light.  It is impossible for demons to enter if the soul is full of Light.

Questioner: Can you explain more clearly the face of emptiness which is full of light?

Inner Smile: Without darkness the Light will disappears.  Without garbage there would be no beautiful flowers.  The same thing happens with dirty-holy, sad-happy.  For the novice, the dirty (the devil) and the holy (the divine) are unbridgeable.  Once the soul is full of brilliance of Light, there one can understands through personal attainment, defilements are like seeds, chastity is like flowers.  Sadness is like mud, happiness is not much different from a lotus.  In a seed there is a flower, in a flower there is a seed.  In the mud there is a lotus, in the lotus there is mud.  At this level of attainment, love and peace will not be easily stolen by anger.

Questioner: Can you use an example so that the public can understand it better?

Inner Smile: Once upon a time there was a place that the rain had not visited in years.  Then they invite the rain handler who happens to be also a meditation teacher.  This meditation master asked for nothing but a quiet meditation room.  After 3 days of silent meditation, suddenly it started to rain in that particular area.  Of course many people are surprised and then ask: “What have you done?”.  The meditator calmly replied: “When the inner world is full of harmony, the outer world will also becomes full of harmony.”

Questioner: Then, in places that are super chaotic, the human mind must be very chaotic also?

Inner Smile: You’re asking a question you already know the answer to.  That is why in one of the beautiful places in the head of the earth called Japan, every time there was a natural disaster, the emperor would go into the prayer room for months to apologize to nature and God.  Because natural disasters tells that the mind and heart of the emperor contains many inner darkness.  On the roof of the Tibetan earth once there was a giant who wanted to eat many of the villager’s sheeps, but the giant failed.  Whenever asked reason, the king of Tibet at that time was meditating on compassion every single day.

Questioner: How do you apply this in your daily life?

Inner Smile: Grow until there is only one witness on the inside.  When you see great things like encountering the Light, remember to be a witness again.  When experiencing things that many people miss such as the kundalini movement (read: there is energy movement from chakras 1, 2, 3 4, 5 and 6 to chakra 7 at the crown), remind yourself again and again: “You are not an experience, you are not experiencing.  You are the witness.”  That is what is meant by inner harmony producing outer harmony.

Questioner: Some people ask, were you did not feel lonely when you practice silent for so long?

Inner Smile: Depends on the source of one’s happiness.  If the source of one’s happiness is entirely outside (the praise and admiration of outsiders), of course, silence is often accompanied by feelings of loneliness.  When the source of happiness is within (the sense of contentment, gratitude that is infinitely deep), silence shall not befriend with loneliness.

Questioner: Thus, before learning silence should one shift the source of one’s happiness from outside to inside?

Inner Smile: Exactly.  And it is not an easy journey.  Especially because the human brain is now very attached to the hormone dopamine.  I just want to be happy, don’t want to be unhappy.  This is not only unhealthy, but it is also impossible.  Many healers conclude, that this is where many diseases and pains begin.

Questioner: Are there any practical steps that we can share to all friends so that the source of their happiness shifts inward?

Inner Smile: For the beginner public, learn to bring the balancing energy inside.  Try to balance the energy not from the praise and admiration of outsiders.  But developed an inner quality inside.  From positive-holistic thoughts, to a heart that is always grateful.  As soon as the soul begins to glow, it learns pure awareness.  To note together, the reason why many people’s happiness is so shaky is that it depends on the source of happiness which is also shaky.  And among all the sources of happiness, the most solid is pure consciousness.  Meditation that emphasizes the importance of “resting” in the present moment is very helpful in this regard.  Once you depend completely on pure consciousness, there happiness becomes very natural.  No effort needed.  It is as simple as a flower visited by a beautiful butterfly.  Happiness is not a goal, happiness is your natural nature inside.

Questioner: Does meditation mean sitting still at all time?

Inner Smile: Of course not.  Every movement of life (eating, drinking, working, walking, etc.) can be used as meditation if one always returns to the present perfection.  Do short but frequent meditations.  For example, when you hear the sound of a motorcycle without an exhaust or a car alarm, reach out your hand, whispering a gatha like this inward: “I’m home.  I have arrived.  The real home is here.  At this moment.”  At the same time, always look at the present from the happy point of view.  There is always a happy point of view behind even the most unhappy circumstances.  At least someone is taught to become more mature.  Never forget, those who do the best in the present are making the best preparations for the future.

Questioner: The last question in this dialogue, why on the path of complete enlightenment silence is called the best service?

Inner Smile: If we look back on Buddha Siddharta’s enlightenment.  It happened 2,600 years ago.  But he still eases the burden of many sufferings in this realm until now.  Perhaps it will still eases burdens of suffering for many beings for thousands of years to come.  Let’s just say someone whose silence enlightenment is not yet perfect, at least he/she will stay away from all forms of violence, taking good care of his family and close people like he takes care of himself.  Worst of all, let’s call it someone whose silent practice is not at all achieved enlightened.  At least he has reduced the amount of violence in the society.

Questioner: Thank you very much.  A deep bow.

Photo caption: One of the corners of the Ashram where Guruji lives.  Ashram garden designed and maintained by the Ashram head of housekeeping Kadek Optimis.

About the author

H.H. Guruji Gede Prama

Gede Prama started his spiritual journey through a dialogue with his symbolic Guru in a village at the north of Bali. The journey is then being enriched with his experiences of studying abroad, his meetings with the world greatest spiritual Gurus: His Holiness Dalai Lama, The Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh, as well as Professor Karen Armstrong; and also being deepened by his intense meditation practices.

Despite the fact that he was once a CEO of a large corporation with thousand of employees, and was traveling abroad frequently for the purpose of teaching, yet, being deeply moved by the Bali bombing incident in 2002, he then decided to leave everything and went back to his home island.
He has never leave Bali for the past few years. In fact, he rarely leaves the silence of the forest where he lives, except for the purpose of teaching at the sacred sites within Bali.

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