06 October 2011

Straight Talk on Enlightenment and Gurus
[Chanting—Who Is In My Temple?]
I just wanted to say, to begin with, that the whole concept of enlightenment—all the concepts of enlightenment—present all kinds of stumbling blocks to actual awakening. So many people ask, “Is X or Y fully enlightened, or fully awakened?”
“No, Z is fully awakened.”
“Is Osho fully awakened?”
“Is Nisargadatta fully awakened?”
“Was Robert fully awakened?”
There is a built-in assumption that there is one end state that everybody goes to.  And some get there, and some do not. Some stop on the way, some do not. They somehow fail to make it all the way.  You should only go to a fully awakened teacher in order to wake up, yourself.
But you have to understand this: Everybody already is fully awakened.
The primal state, that which cannot be known, is already you; within you. The only thing that prevents you from resting in ease in that primal state, the Absolute, is your mind—the concepts that divide up your world into a million different pieces with a million different processes, and philosophies, and agendas, and moralities, and ‘shoulds’ and ‘shouldn’ts,’ and misunderstandings.
If you could only become stupid like a rock, and live your life, you would already be there:  not knowing. Being able to not know and be comfortable with not knowing is really a key, instead of using the mind to try to figure out all of these experiences and where they fit in.
“What role does the guru play? What role does the student play? What are the teachings of Robert, versus the teachings of Nisargadatta? How are they the same or different? Are they talking about the same thing, or are they talking about something different?”
It is all bullshit. You are wasting your time, using your mind trying to figure this out.  You have to throw the mind away.
The mind is causing the suffering—trying to understand it, trying to make some sense of it, trying to contain it, trying to integrate everything that comes up.
You are already perfect.
You are already coextensive with love—love itself. It is in you, it is within your immediate grasp. It is only that your mind has become so strong, it interprets your world and your experience, and excludes love.  It excludes oneness, it excludes the Absolute.  And you think you are limited.
You think you are a human being enclosed in a body.  But there is no human being. The body is there as an object, but really you are consciousness. You are consciousness of the body; you are not the body.
Even that consciousness of the body is not real, because you are actually the witness of the consciousness of the body. Your body is merely an object in your consciousness; one of many.   And your consciousness is not really your consciousness. You are way beyond consciousness, witnessing consciousness.
You are witnessing the consciousness that appears to be associated with your body. Therefore you accept yourself as a body, with all the body’s pains, and ills, and wants.
So already you are fully enlightened. You just do not grasp the fact, because you think too much.  You resist too much. You do not welcome your experience enough. You stifle some experiences, exalt other experiences.
It took me three years before I surrendered to Robert because I just watched him for three years.
“Is he my teacher? Is he for real?”
Doubt, doubt, doubt, doubt, doubt, doubt, doubt.
“Well, he is this way, he is this way, he is this way, he is this way… no teacher is that way, no teacher is that way, no teacher is that way, a great teacher is that way. Ramana wouldn’t do that, Nisargadatta wouldn’t do that.”
Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.
The mind goes on and on and on and on, and resists and resists the teachings, and it resists your teacher, it resists each other.
“My husband is such and such a way—ugh!”
“My wife is such and such a way—ugh!”
“My girlfriend is nuts.”
“My boyfriend is insane and angry. And poor me, having to put up with all this shit, and I am so pure.”
It is the mind constantly.  Judging, judging, judging, judging. Measures brought from infancy, measures brought growing up.
“I should be such and such a way.  He should be such and such a way. Our relationship requires this. It requires authenticity, it requires trust, it requires this, it requires that. It’s lacking in this relationship, so phooey on this relationship. I will look around, but I will stay in this relationship while I am looking around.”
Jesus, there is no commitment to anything!
No commitment to anything, just doubts and doubts and doubts.
Resistance after resistance.
“I don’t like the chants that we are playing. I think we should use different chants. I think we should vary the chants.  It’s getting old having the same wonderful chants, over and over again. Instead, let’s try something new. Maybe we could do some Sufi chants for a change, or do more of the Yogananda chants. Maybe we should have less meditation and more of your talk, Edji—you are so wonderful.”
“Don’t read Nisargadatta.”
“Read more of Nisargadatta.”
“Explain Nisargadatta.”
Everybody has to give their two cents, trying to change things.
You know, I had a Los Angeles satsang going here for a time, and the people that were associated with that satsang tried to bring me into their world—Hollywood, a Hollywood lifestyle.
I do not know why they thought I would like the Hollywood lifestyle.
When I went to Phoenix with them, there is a restaurant there. It is a smorgasboard type, and it is inexpensive, and it is near my mom’s house. I always go there, because I can get 8 or 9 different raw vegetables or cooked vegetables.  I am a vegetarian, so that is all I get, is 9 cups of different kinds of vegetables—broccoli, brussel sprouts, whatever it is.
And they could not stand it: “There’s nothing for me to eat here!” And there were hundreds and hundreds of things; dozens of different kinds of salads, dozens of different kinds of meats for the meat-eaters; and there was fish, and there were all these raw vegetables, and the cooked vegetables—and they could not find anything to eat there?
So, a week later they tried to take me—or they did take me—to an expensive restaurant in Scottsdale, a Mexican restaurant. And when we got there, they had nothing vegetarian.  Nothing! Then we looked way down on the list, and on the back there was some vegetarian dinner entrée, which I finally got, and it was awful.
That was their lifestyle: expensive restaurants.  Fast cars.  Opulence. And they thought I would like it. But I didn’t.
I went to another lunch with them, at a different place in Los Angeles... another of their select places to eat, and had some god-awful kind of french-fries. They liked it, and I could not stand the food!  [Chuckling]
I mean, Jesus, I am a simple guy! Please, come into my world, rather than to try to drag me into your world. I am so lazy, I cannot leave my world.
I guess what I am saying is, try to come into my world.  Into where I am, into the chants I know have such power. Into the teachings I read from Robert, or Nisargadatta—they have so much power. Try to leave your resistances at the door.  Whatever happens at satsang is perfect.
I am the perfect guru. You are the perfect student.
Just accept that for 90 minutes.
And then, after it is all over with, you talk to the other people at satsang behind my back about what an asshole I am, or somebody else in the satsang.
“You know, that Alan is really a jerk. Did you see what he did?”
“Tim—he never says anything. What the hell is the matter with that guy?”
You know, I think after spending 35, 40 years in the spiritual world, all the different teachers, all the different ashrams, all the different centres; I think the single greatest product in spirituality is—two products—talking behind other peoples’ backs about each other, and gossip in general.
The teachings really are not important—it is gossiping about other people at satsang, other teachers, other gurus, what they are doing. They are all trying to figure out what the fuck is going on by watching the externals—the teachers, the students, the behaviours—trying to make sense of it.
Trying to make sense of what is going on. Trying to find consistent patterns. Trying to find out how to run our life based on watching other people, judging other people, etc. And it is still the mind.
It is still the mind. We cannot let go of the mind, become stupid as a rock, and just live from minute to minute.
And really, it is a matter of becoming stupid like a rock. You feel, the deeper your meditation goes, that your mind is seizing up. Thinking stops. Thoughts no longer penetrate your skull—they are all driven out. You feel increasingly stupid. You cannot figure anything out.
A lot of people become extremely dysfunctional on the spiritual path. They cannot do anything anymore, especially if they have lots of responsibility—kids, job, etc., etc. It becomes harder and harder and harder, and you have to make a choice.
Or, you can integrate the two: learn to live a little less functionally, and make a little less spiritual progress at the same time.  Because you are not totally committed, you are not totally focussed on the object, whatever that is—whether it is meditation with the teacher, or the teachings, Nisargadatta, whatever.
But there is nothing wrong with dysfunctionality.
Jo-Ann is falling apart. Our Mamaji is now crashing. She is becoming totally dysfunctional. We are going to have to excuse her from here on in. She is going to become like us. [Laughs] She is crashing and burning. Pretty soon, she will be too lazy even to go just to the refrigerator to get a beer, go out on the back porch. Or else, have Alan do it for her. [Laughs]
We are not in a race here. There is no race to perfection. It is a race to who you are. And who you are has to be seen and appreciated from inside, not from your mind. The mind is not inside. The mind is on the outside, and it appreciates and judges everything from the outside.
But actually, it is a matter of getting closer to your heart.  Your own heart. Feeling love.  Feeling deep down inside that your basic existence is the Absolute, and not of this world, but perceiving this world. You are entirely beyond it. There is nowhere to go, nowhere in this world to go.
Ryan, you cannot travel far enough to get away from your Self. Try Tibet next—it will not work! You cannot get any further away from your Self than you already are. Nor will travelling to any temple get you closer to the Self. You already are as close as you can get. It is just that you have a temple that is blocking you from seeing your Self.
By the way, Alan is now known as ‘Algae,’ after his, uh, oceanic experiences. [Laughs]
I like Algae. Isn’t that a great name?  Depending on how you spell it, too—Alji, or Algae!
You are already home.
You already are home. You could die tomorrow, and you have already made it.
And as to a completely awakened teacher... as my friend David said, the awakenings never stop. They just get deeper, and deeper, and deeper; and you sink ever more deeply into the mystery of your Self.
Mary was telling me that Robert confided in her in 1996 or 1997... probably 1996, he died in September, I think, of 1997. [Robert Adams—January 21, 1928 to March 2, 1997.]  He confided to Mary that he finally understood something that Ramana had said. 
Fifty-five years after his initial enlightenment, he finally understood something Ramana had said. He had a final awakening experience in the last year of his life. Ramana also had another major, single-event type of awakening experience 17 years after the first.
But there is always a deepening that goes on, continuously.
Zen master Joshu had his first awakening experience, kensho, at the age of sixty. He died at age 120, supposedly. When asked about his awakening he said, “During the past sixty years I have had 17 major enlightenment experiences, satori, and thousands of small ones.”
As to the deepening…
If you are really stupid and thick, like I was, it takes a long, long time. Or, you do it like Deeya did it—the extremely painful, tortuous way, for nine years.  Of loving, and surrendering.  Feeling pain.  Wanting.  Desire.  Love.  Loss.  Being rebuffed. Nine years of endless pain, she said.
It is no cake-walk for most of us. But the way that Nisargadatta teaches, the way I teach, I think is faster than most—because it combines understanding of getting rid of the mind with having the emotional power behind the search, to make everything go faster. It is more intense.
Okay, how about Shri Ram Jai Ram?
[Changing—Shri Ram Jai Ram]
Let it go through you.
[Chanting ends]
Now, that is a chant!
That recording is over thirty years old, one of the original Muktananda ones. When Chidvilasananda and Nityananda took over, each changed the chanting style of siddha yoga.
She made it very effeminate—the same chants [but with] different sounds, everything, and it sort of took the power out of it. And Nityananda was more powerful, and crude.
But that original chant we just listened to had everything. It had elegance.  Power.  The kundalini.  It was beautiful. It is beautiful! 
And there is nothing that matches. I have not found in spirituality any kind of chants that have the kind of impact on my psyche, that is helpful to me, as this chanting. Not Sufi, not anything else, none of the other gurus. This style of call and response between men and women, the drums, the harmonium, the sitar—all of this, all of this... it is magic, the kind of effect it can create on the mind.
Now for the erudite section of the satsang, where I read from Nisargadatta.  And he then supplements what I just said in the last part.
[Reading from Nisargadatta’s talk on 21 July 1980 in Prior to Consciousness, page 35]
Questioner: How can I be in my true state and lose my fear?
[Edji talking to his cat] Come on, Lakshmi.  [Whispering]  Come on.  Come on, honey.  Hi baby, you can come here.  Come on. [Repeating a bit]
Questioner: How can I be in my true state and lose my fear?
Maharaj: You are already in your true state. Because of the mind, duality comes in and therefore you are afraid. The association with the body and mind is because of love for the body-mind; that is going to go away, therefore everyone is afraid of death.
I have got to read this again!
Questioner: How can I be in my true state and lose my fear?
Maharaj: You are already in your true state. Because of the mind, duality comes in and therefore you are afraid.
Because of the mind, you are afraid.
The association with the body and mind is because of love for the body-mind; that is going to go away, therefore everyone is afraid of death.
You see, this magic glue that we all talk about, of love, is also a trap. Love of the body-mind, of the ‘I Am’:  that is our primary motivation in everything, and that is all going to pass away. And because we know that it is going to die, we are afraid.
Questioner: The world is given to me by my senses. When you go beyond that state of "I Amness" do you experience the world?
Maharaj: There is no question of going beyond. I was never born, will never die.
In other words, I am not part of the ‘I Am.’ I am beyond the ‘I Am.’
Maharaj: Whatever is—is all the time. Going beyond is only an idea meant to remove all other ideas you have accumulated. You think about birth. Do you know anything about your birth?
Questioner: No, I do not know that 1 am born. I feel that I am really not born, and yet the world seems so real.
Maharaj: Do not worry about the world. First start from here: the "I Am," and then find out what is the world. Find out the nature of this "I."
Questioner: Why find out about the "I" which is not real?
That is the question.
Questioner: Why find out about the "I" which is not real?
And Maharaj responds:
It is the seed from which everything comes out. If the seed is not there, the universe is not. How have you come into this so-called objective world? Here everything will be wiped out. I invite you, in your own interest, to go home.
To go home to your Self, to go beyond the ‘I Am.’ Find yourself in the Absolute, resting in the Absolute.  Which you always do anyway, but you do not see it because the world is so bewildering, and love takes you into the world and into the ‘I’ and into the body.
Questioner: The world is given to me by my senses. When you go beyond that state of "I Amness" do you experience the world?
To which Maharaj replies:
There is no question of going beyond. I was never born -
I have always been beyond. You are not going beyond, you are beyond, right now. Only your mind makes you think that there is a ‘going beyond’. He says it is used as a pointer to get rid of all other concepts, but really there is no question of ‘going beyond’.
... I was never born, will never die. Whatever is—is all the time.
In other words, the Absolute always was, and the ‘I Amness’ and all of consciousness springs from the Absolute. So, the universal consciousness is always here, playing its games, having us various instantiations, where a body appears to become conscious and plays a minor role, of something or other.
... Going beyond is only an idea meant to remove all other ideas you have accumulated. You think about birth. Do you know anything about your birth?
Questioner: No, I do not know that 1 am born. I feel that I am really not born, and yet the world seems so real.
Maharaj: Do not worry about the world. First start from here: the "I Am," and then find out what is the world. Find out the nature of this "I."
Because when you look inside long enough, and you are dumb enough—and it takes many years—and you see that there is nothing that the ‘I’ word points to, there is only emptiness, there is only nothingness, there is only space; it suddenly dawns there is no world either. If the ‘I’ isn’t there, the world is not there.
The world is something we project outside. We say, “This is outside. All of this is outside, while ‘I’ am inside.” And when the ‘I’ disappears, the externality of the world disappears. It is not that the world ceases to exist. It is just that we see it is in us. The world is in us, and we are greater than the world.
We contain the world. There is no external existence. It is just, me. I am the only one. As Buddha said, “From the sky above to the earth below, I am the only one.”
This is all me, and yet in a deeper sense, it has nothing to do with me. In the ultimate sense, even this ‘I Amness’ and the consciousness that springs from the ‘I Amness,’ the consciousness that springs from the body, is only temporary. It passes, as Nisargadatta says, and we are afraid of that passing because we identify with the body and consciousness; through love of the body and consciousness, through love of another person.
But at heart, we have a deeper love. All of us have a deeper love, and that is for our home.  Knowing our true nature. This is the deepest love at the heart of a seeker.
“Who am I really? Am I this body, with all of its energies, and lusts, and loves, with its hungers and fears? Am I my intellect, which is finding my way in the world, constantly judging, comparing, thinking, measuring, suffering?
“Am I all those fantastic panoply of feelings, especially of love, that is supposed to be the highest feeling, that is supposed to hold the universe together? Am I even that, or does that too pass?”
Of course, even if we are the greatest lover, love changes constantly.  Changes colours, becomes motherly love, fatherly love, sibling love, lover love, all kinds of loves.
And then it is gone, disappears every night for six or seven, eight hours. Even the next day, even if we are a constant lover, it is not there for the other sixteen hours. It varies. It has its ups and downs, ins and outs; punctuated by rage, jealousy and a hundred other feelings. Is this real?
It is real, in the sense of an experience.  But it is not our deepest level of beingness. It is beyond beingness. It is that which perceives beingness, and in understanding that we are beyond this, beyond the ‘I Am,’ beyond the drama that we create every day and are immersed in every day, there is such peace and happiness.
Peace so deep that even the ecstasies and the bliss of love cannot compare. They are like the foothills of true understanding, true knowledge. All those blissful ecstasies that filled the body with love, the movements of love and of bliss pale in comparison to, as Robert said, “The peace that surpasseth understanding.” I guess that is from the Bible.
When we know we are the foundation of the universe.  The entire universe does not exist without us. It is all contained within us.
Okay... [flipping pages in Prior to Consciousness]  I like that passage just now. It is so rich.
This is July 19th 1980, page 31:
Maharaj: In this spiritual hierarchy, from the grossest to the subtlest, you are the subtlest.
From the grossest to the subtlest, you are the subtlest.
How can this be realized? The very base is that you don't know you are, and suddenly the feeling of "I Amness" appears.
This is very important. The base is that you do not know you are, and suddenly the feeling ‘I Amness’ appears.
The moment it appears you see space, mental space; -
Now I call that … what did I call that? The subtle body, it is called. I talk about it in the advanced teachings on the website. I forgot what I called all those things, but you can get into it more there by reading that on either on the “It is Not Real” or the “We Are Sentience” website [ www.wearesentience.com ].
...  The moment it appears you see space, mental space; that subtle, skylike space, stabilize you there. You are that. When you are able to stabilize in that state, you are the space only.
This is what happens when the first realization comes. There is no ‘I’, there is no centre. When there is no ‘I’, there is no external world. All that there is, is space, which you are, which contains everything.
The identity shifts from being some imagined entity inside of your body to an identification of the inner space with the external space. You are spaciousness, which contains all objects, all feelings, all thoughts, all knowledge.
When this space-like identity "I Am" disappears, the space also will disappear, there is no space.
When the ‘I Amness’ disappears, space disappears.

When that space-like "I Am" goes into oblivion, that is the eternal state, -
What is left over after the ‘I Amness’ goes is the eternal state.
… nirguna, no form, no beingness. Actually, what did happen there? This message "I Am" was no message. Dealing with this aspect, I cannot talk much because there is no scope to put it into words.
There is not much you can say about no form, no beingness. It does not have any qualities.  It does not have any characteristics.  It does not have any function. It is unknowable, unfathomable. You can only experience it. You can only be it. You cannot talk about it. You cannot grasp it with your mind, or even with the heart.
It is beyond the heart. It is where the heart melts into the Absolute, into formlessness.   That is why all of your hearts are burning. It is to burn itself out, so you can find the Absolute.
I guess you could call it a purification process, but really it is letting the ‘I Amness’ burn, so that you know you are not the ‘I Amness.’ When the burning is happening the focus is on the ‘I Am,’ and that is as it should be. That is the practice, to focus on the ‘I Am’—and the more intensely, the faster it goes.
But ultimately you are beyond the ‘I Amness’, beyond the beingness. You were never born. You will never die. You are just watching this, and in the meantime you are identifying with the ‘I Amness,’ and the burning right now, and the yearning.
Questioner: Does Maharaj go into samadhi?
Maharaj: I am stabilized in the Highest. There is no going into samadhi, or coming down from samadhi; that is over.
Questioner: Should we continue our meditation?
Maharaj: It doesn't mean this is an excuse for you to give up meditation, you must persist in meditation until you come to a stage when you feel there is no meditation. When the purpose of meditation is gained it will drop off naturally.
Questioner: Which is the way to the Supreme state?
Maharaj: There is no question of going into that state. You are the Supreme state, but whatever ignorance you have will drop off.
This is very important. There is no question of going into that state. You already are in that state. It is buried in you. You cover it with your mind. What happens is, the spiritual process is a dropping off of this ignorance of the concepts, of all the loves and the messiness in your life, to see the purity of the supreme state and find rest there.  Find peace there.
This is the first of the ‘no bullshit’ seminars. I am trying as hard as possible to get rid of all of the misconcepts, misunderstandings about gurus and teachings and all these states that you are going through, and perfection of the guru, and everybody is more enlightened than other people and all that kind of stuff.
It is a bunch of crap. All of this is a bunch of crap, from the Ultimate point of view. You are already beyond it. Just your need to gossip keeps you here. My need to gossip.
Your need to love. 
To take care of kitty cats.  Like this little jewel. [referring to Lakshmi]
Any questions?
[Private dialogue removed.]
How about ending with Hare Krishna Hare Ram, the Yogananda one? [Sings to indicate the chant]
Now, let’s go deep.
Let it go deep. Let it go deep.
Let everything wash through you. Hold onto nothing.
Hold on to no memory, no concepts. Become dumb as a rock, and let the music sweep through you.
[Music begins]
Close your eyes.  Move your head, and feel the energies go through you. Just release everything. Release it.
[Chanting—Hare Krishna Hare Ram]
You know that, in the majority of the bhajans, all that you do is sing the various names of God.  Whether it be Krishna, Ram, or any of the other forms of God.
Hail God Ram, hail God Krishna.
All the chants are like that. You are talking to the divine, and actually you are going to go beyond the divine, to the primordial state—the Absolute.  Which you are, and from which all of this comes.  Including God, including the divine.  You are the basis of the divine. Even the divine depends on you.
Even the divine depends on you.
I love you all.
My family, our family. 

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