Author Ray Brooks, born in Newcastle upon Tyne, introduces his most recent book The Shadow that Seeks the Sun, telling how an undisciplined child, a denizen of the London nightclub scene ended up inquiring about his true nature on the banks of the river Ganges.
The title The Shadow that Seeks the Sun is a metaphor pointing to the imagined separate self that seeks its true nature. You are what you seek. All that appears to you, fear, insecurities, doubts, are not you. These sensations come and go. You never come and go. You are self-luminous. This self-luminosity does not come and go-ever. All that appears to you is not separated but has no power or affect on what you truly are. You are that self-luminous Sun.
Just stop and look! Yes, just this!
See that this brilliant, self-luminosity that you are is here, right now. It cannot be grasped, cannot be missed. It is here during fear, insecurity and doubts. It is here after they pass away.
This self-luminosity, not all the things that apparently come and go—this aware, self-luminosity, is what you are.
You have always been what you seek! Cannot be grasped, cannot be missed. Just stop and look now. Perceive directly this awareness, this brilliance that is you.
Excerpt for The Shadow that Seeks the Sun:
. . . The combination of wood smoke and incense infused the cave with the unmistakable perfume of a Hindu temple, then with all the power of his belief, our friend, Ram Prasad, the guardian of Tat Wale Baba’s cave closed his eyes, chanted “Aum” three times, and then recited a melodic Vedic mantra to Lord Shiva. His sounds, amplified by the silence of the cave felt timeless. This gentle, devotional being filled me with affection and as he sang, it felt as if the divine had entered the cave. I kept my eyes open as I listened to Ram Prasad’s outpouring of love. A love that pours out of itself.
My mind floated back to memories of Grandad coming home after his long shift at the pit. Covered in coal dust, he is warming his hands and backside in front of the smoky fire.The tin bath is filled and waiting for him. He won’t sit down until he’s clean. As he mutters some old song to himself, Granma hands him a hot mug of tea and waits for him to sip the brew and say “By, that’s grand, pet.”
Ray brooks, a writer, musician and recording artist is internationally know in the world of shakuhachi. He is the author of ‘Blowing Zen’ finding an authentic life, and Ich ging weg der Zen Flote.