ALTHOUGH A LOT OF the
flash and glamour has worn off, I've noticed that there seems to
be a "speeding up of the process of standing still". A lot has happened
in this short period of time, in the sense of the stabilization
of the Awakening. This has been experienced in many ways. One of
the most interesting has been often the feeling of Utter Stillness
that seems to permeate my life more and more, even in the midst
of arising thoughts. It seems that the mind will quiet down to the
point where not a single thought could penetrate the simplicity
of a condition of "no-arising". What has occurred recently reminds
me of part of a poem by Love-Ananda:
"I am the headless horseman...
There's nothing above my collar but the evening."
This sense of not having
a head has been quite remarkable, albeit not a stable one, of course.
There is no sense in expecting such wonderful states to be permanent,
but nevertheless it seems to be a normal part of the current process.
Often I feel that "I" am sitting on the base of my brain and sometimes
even lower, into the chest. The connection with the arising of I
from the right side of the heart has become evident more frequently.
It seems to me that the sense of I arises in the right side of the
heart, and is filtered, processed and translated by mind, which
notices difference in all things that arise, like the variety of
colors found when clear light is passed through a prism.
The greatest issue so
far has been my own self-doubt. As many, many people have stated,
Awakening is never what you expect. My expectations were based on
a yogic model of absorption, expecting and desiring a continuous,
absorbed state where self consciousness doesn't arise at all. Certainly
this has happened in some formal meditative sittings, but they do
not last. What many have also stated, Awakening happens at the fundamental
core of Being, and from my experience at this point, it doesn't
occur in the body-mind, but the fundamental shift of understanding
will "bleed" through to the body mind. Self-doubt has arisen on
the basis of expectation of validation of Awakening through something
perceived in the body-mind. But just as before Awakening , the body-mind
is still subject to numerous changes based on numerous factors and
cycles and is entirely unreliable as a means of validation. In fact,
when I look for validation, I've already lost the View of the context
of arising phenomena. What has been helpful in periods of doubt
is to look it straight in the face and recognize it as arising from
the same Condition of Emptiness as everything else. This has become
easier in this short period of time, as the acceptance of the profound-ordinariness
of Awakening grows.
This sense of ordinariness
perhaps needs some explanation. It is not as if nothing has happened
or something has been lost, but the fact that recognition of everything
arising from Being, existing as Being, is in fact not some monumental
lightning flashing, bombs exploding insight. It is all so apparent,
so clear, like looking at one's face in the mirror, nothing special.
What is special is the extraordinary states of samadhi and experiences
of rising kundalini. These are really glamorous and fascinating.
However, I feel a radical change in me in the sense that I have
no desire for these experiences whatsoever. This is truly where
seeking has come to a halt - I feel like I have no use for such
blissful and exotic distractions in the face of what Ramana Maharishi
calls " the natural state". It has recently dawned on me exactly
what that means, or what the Tibetan Buddhists call "the supra-mundane"
mind. It feels as this is exactly the way existence should be seen
since the day that I was born, but required a fundamental shift
of understanding after years of seeking. The whole tour of spiritual
experience and seeking seems grossly unnatural in the face of the
simplicity of the natural condition or state.
It needs to be emphasized
again and again, as many have said, that an Awakening is not an
end in itself, but a doorway which leads to another segment of the
spiritual process. The clear recognition of Who I Am seems to have
taken shape into seeing the transparency of all arising phenomena
in the body-mind. In recent meditations there has been the "seeing"
of attention itself, thoughts, emotions and the body itself to be
made of the same stuff as the space around me. A feeling of continuity
comes forth, where it feels like there is no difference in anything
- it is all made of the same Being. In wake of this, it doesn't
matter what arises and a heightened acceptance and embrace of all
that arises can occur, because all that arises is the same One Being.
It also can be expressed in the notion of "transparency" - nothing
is a solid object or form in and of itself, but is seen through.
The seeing through of attention itself seemed to be a breakthrough,
as attention appears to be the "pole" of oneself that everything
revolves around. This reminds me of the phrase " sat-chit" or Being-Consciousness
- they are essentially the same.
The Big Formula, Mon
In the years of sitting
in one satsang session or another, I have heard the question asked,
generally speaking, of "how does one get there from here?". The
desire to find the big solution, the final formula is a well-deserved
one and a natural outcome of the portion of the spiritual process
where seeking is necessary or inevitable. Unfortunately, I don't
have a solution to offer, but here to simply share some insights
and inspirations from the telling of my story. But I do have one
big piece of advice for anyone who wants to know their true Self-Nature
and the Nature of all, and that is to find someone who is awake,
functioning as a teacher and transmitter of spiritual wisdom and
force (Shakti) and spend as much time as you possibly can with them.
Become their friend, take them to lunch, make use of your time and
theirs to answer any question and clear up doubts. With the mantle
of spiritual awakening being passed to the West in ever greater
numbers, the chances of finding such people are much, much higher,
and with the dropping of such weighty hierarchies as found in many
Eastern traditions, great help is available in people who may have
been college roommates, old friends or even fellow seekers in former
spiritual communities. While many people denounce the Guru tradition,
I feel that it has evolved and molded itself into a form that is
workable for us Westerners - simply hang time, in company of very
ordinary people like you and me. People such as Lawrence and Ardeliza
, Arjuna (Nick Ardagh), Gangaji and David Wheeler are people with
pasts similar to mine, and who have been such a great help and boon
for the process of consciousness, in me, I couldn't give it justice
in mere printed words. Even my former Guru Love-Ananda, who has
his students under a constant stress of unending discipline, would
praise the awakening process of Shirdi Sai Baba, who simply lived
with his teacher without performing any of the customary spiritual
disciplines that we would think were prerequisite for advancement.
Simply satsang, the relationship with a realizer, is all that is
necessary: everything will come to fruition on the basis of satsang.
The old saying that you become who you spend time with is a hard
and fast truth, and it has been the greatest spiritual gift in my
Final Summary: No Summary
I would like to end
this account with a final or summary statement but it is clear that
the spiritual process continues to unfold, and now at a more parabolic
pace. Even some of the insights and understandings first expressed
in this account, written over a period of weeks, really do not to
define me at this point in time.
A good friend of mine
asked, "well, what has remained constant over this time?" It is
a really good question, since experiences in the body-mind do come
and go, awakened or not, as the body-mind is conditional and subject
to numerous forces beyond any individual's control. What has remained
steady is the death of the spiritual search to know who I am. In
a real sense, I have gone through a death, and have come out the
other side a new person, with a sense of "being different". The
underlying strata of my psyche seems to have been inexorably changed
by the breakthrough in consciousness. I feel somewhat dead, not
in the sense of being unfeeling or flat, but in the sense that I
have gone through the process of sifting of consciousness to its
essential nature, which is unmoving, unbound of time and space.
I am simply being.
Another steady condition
is the sense of the simplicity of life. The sense of dilemma that
accompanies the spiritual search of "what do I gotta do to be free?",
"where do I turn?" has been undone. A feeling of rest has replaced
a certain cramp of bewilderment or disturbance that has been there
my whole life. As it has been less than two months as of this writing,
it is taking some getting used to, to live in another mode that
is free of the spiritual search. It is true that the "seeker" was
an intimate and deeply entrenched segment of my psyche that required
expunging, but it did provide a sense of excitement and adventure,
hope and fear. With that gone, a great space appears where I can
stretch out, figuratively speaking.
Although it is not constant,
a strong conviction has arisen since the incident in Denver to see
everything as my own nature. It is as if I can say I am God, and
this is my universe (of course, not the exclusive God, personally
- I recognize that we are all that). A sense of love has come forth,
but is a totally different kind of love than what I have ever experienced
before. It is a simple affection for everything, because it is all
a reflection of the One Being, in its own separate and unique form.
This includes space itself - being is there even more obviously,
as no particular form distracts me from the sense of seeing Who
It Is. The reflection of my own self-nature in the phenomena around
me is like the beginning of a wondrous love affair, one that will
have no break-up or let down, since there is no "other" to leave!!
On the flip side of
the sense of death of the search is an ever strengthening knowingness
of who I Am, Consciousness/Being Itself. This knowingness is felt
at the deepest core of my being, a fundamental level, which permeates
through the strata of my psychic structures, and undermines any
form of dilemma about my existence.