Journal

Been There, Done That, Know-It-All

Spiritual Ego

There is, they say, no fool like an old fool. And there is no ego like a hardened old seeker ego. Encrusted within a prickly sense of having read the words, done the practice and glimpsed ‘the peace that passeth understanding’, the old seeker has absorbed it into a new-and-improved spiritual ego. Like a virus that becomes antidote-resistant with small doses of medicine, the spiritual ego becomes more sophisticated and subtle with ‘spiritual’ insights, knowledge and experiences.

On the surface the words are right – ‘love’, ‘light’, ‘oneness’ etc – the clothes are flowing and the lifestyle says there is a sincere seeker of Truth here. But inside a subtle arrogance has quietly crept in: a shrewd way of dismissing words of a teacher.

There are two ways to do this: one way is by proving the teacher wrong or inadequate and the other is by putting him on a pedestal – in either case, by making his words not applicable to one’s real, daily life. Maybe it’s a clever ‘You don’t really understand my life…’ or ‘What you say is true but not practical’ or even a ‘Yes, I read that in a book’. Do you see how deftly the mind can sweep a real insight under the carpet so hearing the Truth doesn’t upset one’s carefully manicured spiritual life anymore?

“That is the only path the ego-mind knows,” my mentor GD said to me on this subject. “It judges and discards everybody and everything, becoming more and more depressed and isolated. The ego-mind cannot know love or oneness.”

What was shocking was that this ‘ego-mind’ which GD was kindly referring to in third person was what I lived identified with ALL THE TIME. It was, for most part, what I called ‘me’. I felt shaken by his words but also felt softer, like something hard had been broken open. Like a truer ‘me’ had emerged, blinking, into the light.

“The more you ‘know’,” GD continued, “the deader you become. The more you ‘know’ about love, the less you will be able to experience it. Once we know that this particular flower is called a ‘rose’, we no longer bother to see it. The mystery is lost. Every word, every label, deadens us to the mystery that life is.

“Knowing spiritual concepts like ‘freedom’ and ‘oneness’ often make us dead to the actuality of it. Spirituality is a pure ‘I-don’t-know’ space. It is a wide-awake-openness. And it requires no knowledge or point of view.”

Never before in history have spiritual answers been so easily available to feed the ego-mind’s quest to protect itself by accumulating information and processes. It is easy to forget that the way to Truth/Love/Bliss has always been through this ‘wide-awake-openness’ and silence. And especially for those who have read much, heard much and known much, it is critical to pause once in a while and ask whether the words are windows or just new bricks in the walls of our prison?

Image used under creative commons via Alice Popkorn
GD Speaks, Life-Saving Tips

The Endless Running Inside

Subway Surfer

My son’s favorite iPad game these days is Subway Surfers. For those who haven’t played it, the objective is quite simple. It’s set inside a train yard. You play as young vandal Jake who is on the run from the grumpy inspector and his Pitbull dog. You dash from train to train, and jump from track to track, going faster and faster. There is no finish line, you just keep collecting coins endlessly. Or until you collide into a wall or an oncoming train.

It strikes me as being such a great metaphor for the mind. A thought comes, and we hop on the train of association – one thought leads to another, then the mind jumps to a feeling, then hops onto a stray passing memory, then changes tracks to a fantasy. And this goes on all day. The trains and the environments keep changing but the running continues. The mind does not really care which train it hops on. In fact, most of the time we don’t even know that we have hopped on. We just keep endlessly surfing the subways of our minds, and keep colliding with oncoming life.

The opposite of this insane, perpetual-motion state, my brother and mentor GD says, is being in Presence. Being in presence is just a remembrance. There is no push. It’s the reverse of push – it’s a letting go. A gentle awakeness. It’s a very gentle questioning. It’s questioning the dream all the time. He often suggests some interesting questions to bring people back to Presence:

Am I truly ‘Awake’ in this moment, or am I lost in the dream?

Am I truly CONSCIOUS, or am I lost in the jungle of mind?

What stories and imaginations am I making real in this moment?

Or, you could use the question I quietly ask myself these days to snap out of the dream: Is my mind subway surfing again?

*

GD Speaks

Specialness ~ An extra-ordinary talk by GD

Deepti Gujar’s “extra-ordinary” post on Specialness includes a free audio download of GD speaking on the subject. Where all do you still try to maintain your specialness? Where have you become imprisoned by your talent and cut off from life? A worthy exploration…

Flowering of eternity

This is one of the best talks I’ve ever heard. It is one of those group sessions where GD opens to a page in A Course In Miracles, starts reading it, and opens up a discussion in the group based on the lines. This is a talk I kept visiting once…twice…thrice and every time I did, I became more aware of acting out from specialness. Eventually I just sat down with my journal and started making a note of all the places where I play out this specialness, pausing it at very intervals. GD has so incisively pulled out the many different angles to this subject that it is one hell of an ego buster! Though of course, he does it with his characteristic humour that softens some of the blow 🙂

I invite you to hear it with this context – Are you aware of the many ways in…

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Life-Saving Tips

12 Pitfalls After That First Glimpse

Bridge To EnlightenmentOne of the rare writings I have cherished and revisited many times over the last many months has been a piece by nondual teacher Scott Kiloby on the long (and confusing) phase between initial seeing and full liberation. Little is written about this subject, and Kiloby has some truly eye-opening insights to share. I urge you to read the entire piece called ‘After The Fall’ on Scott’s website here. Meanwhile, an extract on 12 things to watch out for in this phase. Download it for your weekend read, you will treasure it for a long time. 

[EXTRACT FROM ‘AFTER THE FALL’]

If you will allow me to use language freely….

These days, it seems that more and more people are experiencing shifts in perception or initial realizations of Oneness or no self, much like a satori experience in Zen.  The seeing or event isn’t always accompanied by bells and whistles.  It isn’t always one grand moment where absolutely everything drops away into a deep recognition of Oneness.  It may be more subtle than that, like a shift in perception that quietly dawns upon you.

But I’ve been around the awakening scene long enough to know that these experiences aren’t usually the end of the seeking entirely and that there is often more to see.  Yet the “more” isn’t as much about seeking some later point in one’s story.  The “more” is actually “less.”  Stuff falls away gradually after these events, eventually leaving one surrendered in and as the flow of life, “living naturally in the present moment,” as they say.

Before one stabilizes, there is often a lot of stuff, emotional and psychological stuff, and even leftover seeking that arises.  I call this “oscillation,” which is the seeming movement back and forth between the sense of “I am my thoughts and emotions and sensations” to “I am not these things, but they still arise.”

The road to freedom is often bumpy, confusing, and filled with doubts, shadows, and old stories of deficiency, “I’m not good enough” or “I’m weak” or “I’m unlovable.”   Somehow the momentum of this old way of being in the world wants to stick around, almost as if it is hanging on for dear life.

And teachers aren’t immune from it either.  I’ve seen in myself and virtually every other teacher things like competition, jealousy, shadows, fundamentalism, control, and at the more extreme end greed, abuse, and even cult-like behavior. […]

Here are some other things I’ve seen through the years. By just spotting them in yourself, you can see through them. 

1) Avoid beliefs like “I’m not there yet” as well as “I’ve arrived.”
Both are often mental landing points of the ego.  Life is fluid and ever-changing.  The ones who claim to have arrived, either implicitly or explicitly, are often holding onto a belief that life is static and that there is someone who can “arrive” at life or even awakening.  Or perhaps the belief is “there is no one to arrive, I have arrived at that realization.”  It’s a subtle, backdoor way of saying the same thing.  And the ones that claim “I’m not there yet” are often still believing in the story of someone who can awaken, still seeking some ultimate, fictitious point in the future.  Once these beliefs are dispelled, it all gets a lot clearer.  How do I know these are beliefs….?  Because they were beliefs I’ve held, but couldn’t see.  And that’s not a statement that I have now “arrived.”

2) Watch for selective memory
Once there is a recognition that this moment is all there is, or some similar insight, it can be easy to assume that all the inquiry, methods, meetings you attended, and books you read had absolutely nothing to do with that.  It can feel like all of that is some faint memory.  It’s then tempting to want to tell everyone else who is doing inquiry, engaging in methods, and attending meetings and reading books to “STOP, JUST STOP.”  But could you just stop?  If you could have, you would have and all those inquiries, methods, meetings and books would not have been necessary.

There is a whole debate happening around whether methods are helpful or not.  Why not simplify it down to this:  methods seem to work for some and not for others.  That takes the debate right out of it.  It sucks for the ego when it can’t be right anymore.  Can any of us know what is best for another?  If you begin teaching or just helping a friend and you say, “All there is, is liberation, there’s nowhere to go, nothing to do, and no one to do it,” apparently there WAS something to do i.e., listen to your words or attend your meeting.  If there were truly nothing to do and nowhere to go, no one would show up and you would not need to utter a single word about “what is” or “liberation.”

When awakening dawns, and we assume that inquiry, methods, meditation, or whatever had nothing to do with it, it’s like a guy going into a donut shop.  He eats one donut but it doesn’t make him full.  Then he eats another, then another.  Still not full.  Then after the 12th donut, he eats a muffin and says, “Damn, why did I eat all those donuts, when I could have just gotten full from eating this muffin?” We can never know how methods and inquiries are or are not helpful for others.  We can only speak what worked for us, and let the cards fall where they may.

3) Avoid denying relativity
First of all, how can you deny relativity and how would you actually do this?  When you speak or think, those thoughts divide reality up into parts.  It doesn’t matter whether the thoughts are really profound or really dumb.  They are thoughts.  The very act of denying relativity is a thought.  Pretending to be beyond relativity is a relative thought that divides life into Absolute and relative.  This writing is a relative viewpoint, and not objectively true.  It won’t even resonate with every reader.  The suffering comes from believing that your thoughts are representing a true, accurate, and objective picture of reality.  That’s the rub.

Once you begin seeing that you aren’t thinking objectively, relativity is fun, like a play. Transcending relativity is only important when you see relativity as a problem. And of course that problem is created through thinking, which is relative. Trying to eradicate pronouns or any reference to yourself or others may simply mean that you still experience what you believe to be an objective self that must censor itself.  We are always playing around with language.  But rearranging our thoughts isn’t necessarily a sign of awakening from identifying with thought. It’s just rearrangement.  And we will rearrange thoughts in any number of ways to find some landing point that divides a self against the others.  Recognizing an unshakeable silence is not personal.  Yet, we love to make it personal, like “I’ve recognized silence and you haven’t it.”  It’s another rearrangement of thoughts, an investment in some objective self.  What is there to transcend when the play of life is seen to be empty, and not actually full of real divisions?  Love it, or hate it, but at least see it as a play.

4) Keep it simple
This relates to the relativity part above. Anything you perceive as right/wrong, good/bad, enlightened/unenlightened, valuable/valueless about yourself, others, the world or reality isn’t there objectively.  It’s your thoughts.  Think away if you wish, but don’t be confused about this simple, basic point.  Of course, that goes for everything said here.

5) Avoid Dangling Carrots, Then Investigate
If you read somewhere that someone seems to have had a deeper recognition than you have, assume it’s a dangling carrot first, then investigate. People have a way of wording things that makes it look as if they are special. When they speak of stages and levels, notice that they always place themselves near the top of the stages or levels (or they place THEIR teacher there).  And this is often just a self-centered way of saying, “I’m more special.”  They may have added some belief about themselves that subtly gives them a sense of being higher or more awakened then others. Don’t fall for it.

If it pulls you into seeking into the future, it’s a carrot, a mirage, a belief that there is something presently wrong that you have to get away from or move beyond.  But do investigate.  It may be that this person has stabilized (so to speak) and is not experiencing some of the sticky points mentioned here.  Find out exactly what they are talking about and what beliefs were seen through.  Ask them.  Don’t assume you already know the answers.  It may be that they are not offering a carrot to chase into the future, but rather a deeper recognition or seeing through of some belief that many people carry around.  You may find that it’s not a matter of reaching some later stage, but more like the falling away of something believed and held to be reality.  Awakening is like that.  It’s not that you gain more. It’s that you lose.  And what you lose was not reality.  It was just a belief you were carrying.

6) Avoid the Belief that all concepts are false
That, itself, is a concept.  If you look, it is not that concepts are the issue, it’s that there is a sense of self that grasps after them.  When there is no more grasping, thought is seen to be beautiful and very much a part of human experience.  Like everything else, it is welcomed, and not made into some enemy that needs to be eradicated. Thoughts may quiet naturally, but that’s just because one loses interest in one’s story, drama and fixed conceptions of reality and even one’s story of being awakened from the story, the drama, and all fixed conceptions of reality.  What’s left?  …The capacity to express and think or not, whatever arises.  Any way you slice it, everything we say is a concept, including concepts about silence or non-conceptuality, and even the concepts that try to eradicate other concepts.

7) Be Transparent (tell on yourself at all costs)
Whether you begin teaching or helping others or not, the tendency after the fall is to be blind to the movements of self that are still operating.  And the tendency, even when you see them, is to downplay them and only speak of the plush bliss or infinite peace or beyondness or radical freedom that you have come to know.  For example, you aren’t likely to talk about how unblissful it was to puke your guts up the other night after getting food poisoning or subtle feelings of inadequacy that still pop up in your marriage.  “All that messy humanness” is irrelevant.  But how irrelevant is it?  Is this just the mind hiding behind a belief, “I’m awakened” or even “there is no one to awaken” or some other belief in transcendence?  If you have transcended all human messiness, why are you still getting upset in certain areas of relationship?  Why are you still trying to prove something to other humans, even that you have transcended everything?  Isn’t that still human stuff?  Do turtles brag about transcending turtlehood?  Do birds try to make personal claims about recognizing the air more than their fellow birds?  Stick with the simple seeing that no one cares nearly as much about your awakening story or insights as you do.  Share them freely, but see they are just part of the story of you, even the parts that talk of transcendence.  […]

8) Virtually everything comes down to fear
If you don’t know what is disturbing you, assume it’s fear and just feel it, without story.  Fear of anger, fear of fear, fear of intimacy, fear of being wrong, fear of death, fear of uncertainty, fear of being nobody, fear of not being loved, etc, etc.  Just feeling fear directly, without story, makes stabilization happen more smoothly, without the need for a dramatic “dark knight of the soul” process.  Sometimes it looks like something other than fear.  For example, getting really busy intellectualizing a grand scheme to explain intricate levels of awakening, discomfort with real intimacy with others, or a reaction against what someone says doesn’t always appear like fear at first, until you check into the body.  And there it is.

9) See through body identification
One can see “no self” when it comes to the story or pattern of thoughts and emotions, but still have a very visceral sense that “I am this body.”  Body identification accounts for a lot of the struggle experienced after the fall.  Get with someone who has seen through body identification.  It clears up a lot, especially the very subtle movement to resist uncomfortable sensations as if the sensation is you.

10) Look for any place where you are rejecting
The ego can be seen as rejection of emotions, thoughts, views, experiences, and other people.  This can continue on after the fall.  Wherever you are rejecting, notice that it is often out of fear and a continued belief in a separate self. You are afraid, even if you are trying to claim “there is no me.”  Admit it to yourself and let the emotion, all emotions, be as they are without story, facing them fully, seeing that there arise and fall and that they cannot kill you or even harm you. They are temporary energies.  That’s it.  What often trips people up after the fall is an inability to be with the most painful emotions, a subtle rejecting of your own experience. Open to it. If you have seen there is no self at the core, there is nothing to be afraid of with regard to emotions.

11) Trust your own experience:
This is one of the hallmarks of the period “after the fall.”  This is about your happiness and freedom, which can only really be found in your own experience.  Eventually, you will come to see that there is no authority.  You will come to listen to other views, and take them in, while remaining true to your own experience, finding your own voice, and letting awakening unfold for you in its own way.  If you find yourself still following every word of a teacher, re-examine that belief.  This includes what I’m saying here.  Don’t trust me. Look into these things for yourself.  Everything written here is second hand knowledge.

12) Avoid extreme views
If you find yourself uttering any opposites as if one is true and the other is not, let that be an alarm bell that lets you know you are still possibly holding onto beliefs about the experience of awakening, still trying to land somewhere.  As Buddha said, “Don’t be attached to conceptions of self or no self.”  Don’t be attached to your ideas about awakening. They are YOUR ideas, that’s all. This includes all opposites.

Scott Kiloby

Image courtesy of pixtawan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

GD Speaks, Life-Saving Tips, Uncategorized

My Top 7 “Getting-Out-Of-The-Jungle’ Processes

Getting Out of the Jungle of Thoughts

Many friends connect with my mentor GD’s insights on the blog and experience flashbulb moments of deep clarity and illumination. But soon, they confess, they are once again swept away by the momentums of daily life. “But what do I do?” they ask me, “It is so easy to get carried away!”

Last week, one of my favorite bloggers, the irrepressible Yaz, requested me to ask GD the infamous seeker question: “I so get it… but what to DO?” When I spoke to GD, he asked me to share a post I had worked on a few months ago but never posted. When I re-read it now, I realize it is a subject relevant not only to Yaz but to almost everyone on this blog.

While there is incalculable value in glimpsing the ‘open sky’, when one feels lost in the dark jungle of thoughts and emotions, it is helpful to have systems which methodically and consistently put us back on track.

Over the years, GD has explored and shared dozens of ‘clearing’ systems with us. These are the seven which have made the shortlist, stood the test of time and stay with me even today. These are not meditations, but they all clear the path for it. They methodically untie the knots, big and small, that hold us in the grip of conflict and chaos. And best of all, once learned, they can be done by yourself.

To make it easy for you, I have provided links for all of them. I would encourage you to explore whatever resonates with you… and incorporate into your lives and your iPods.

  • The Sedona Method: A gentle system created by Lester Levenson in the 1960s. It encourages letting go. Since Lester’s demise, the torch has been carried on by his students Hale Dwoskin and Larry Crane. Though it is said that half the spiritual teachers on ‘The Secret’ have used this method, it remains under the radar. Their ‘Good Morning’ & ‘Good Night’ meditations are on my ‘Top 25 Most Played’ playlist.
  • The Work: A method of self-enquiry developed by Byron Katie that needs only a pen, a paper and an open heart. It encourages you to identify the thoughts (which she calls ‘stories’) that cause the suffering and question them on paper. It took me a few tries to get the hang of it, but once it clicked, it’s proven a life-saver for almost a decade now. I love that it doesn’t give you any answers, but only asks questions to help you find them for yourself.
  • Donna Eden’s ‘Energy Medicine’: A simple set of energetic exercises developed by Donna Eden. These are physical exercises to stimulate the blocked meridians and smoothen broken energy flows. Guaranteed pick-me-up within 15 minutes or less, mind not required.
  • Emotion Freedom Technique (EFT): A relatively famous system developed Gary Craig that rebalances the body’s energy system by tapping on key energy meridian points which are blocked or disrupted. Verbal ‘scripts’ along with the tapping help focus healing on specific issues. GD’s friend Sangeeta Bhagwat works primarily with EFT and has given many scripts on her blog for free.
  • ZPoint: An indigenous system developed by Grant Connolly to release sub-conscious emotional triggers associated with traumatic memories, relationships or life situations. All you have to do is to embed a ‘key word or phrase’ into your subconscious and repeat it while Grant Connolly guides you through the process.
  • Access Consciousness: Founded by Gary Douglas, the system is most famous for ‘pod-pocking’ after its curious clearing statement ‘good-bad-right-wrong-pod-poc-all-nine-boys-shorts-and-beyond’. But the many, many tools it provides work and my wife Aditi loves the system so much, she decided to become a trained Access Consciousness facilitator.
  • Emotrance: Developed by Dr. Silvia Hartmann in the mid-1990s, this system deals directly with the physical manifestations of stuck energy in the body. So you work not on sadness, but on where it is showing up in your body. And guide it to dissolve and exit the body. So simple a four-year-old can learn it.

I hope that, thanks to the question asked by Yaz, you all can incorporate the magical support of these systems into your life.

GD Speaks

The Illusion of Ownership

Grasping Experiences


Last week, my mentor GD casually mentioned that a word had been resonating strongly within him since the past few days. The word was ‘ownership’, he said, and proceeded to explain how it was being seen how our taking ownership of thoughts and sensations was creating the illusions of ‘my life’ and ‘my world’. The following afternoon, in the midst of a chaotic and overwhelming day, I sat with what he said and everything fell away into silence around me. Within a few minutes, I experienced the deepest meditation I had had all week. So I requested he put this down in his words to share with others. Here it is:

 

Like the sound of a passing train,
all experience is just passing by.

Thoughts, images, feelings, sensations…
all appearing and disappearing…
all just passing by.

If a crow makes a sound nearby, we don’t take any ‘ownership’,
But if the mind makes a sound, it somehow becomes ‘mine’.

It’s interesting to explore how the ‘I’ takes ownership
of every sensation, thought and emotion that appears.

And being busy taking ownership and fighting with appearances,
the ‘I’ forgets that it is itself an appearance.

The fundamental ownership is that of the body/mind.
One starts by claiming physical sensations and asserting ‘my body’.
We own every thought that appears and say ‘my mind’…

Once that happens, then on behalf of the body/mind,
one starts owning all the emotions and fluctuations…
and then the wife, the child, the house, the car…
right up to ‘my’ country and ‘my’ planet.

One has to believe the illusion of ‘me’
before one can create the illusion of ‘mine’.

It’s surprisingly blissful
when perception is experienced without any ownership…

Everything is seen as magically appearing and disappearing…
and there is no one catching or claiming ownership,
or even saying good or bad.

There is just effortless witnessing…
just spontaneous experiencing.

Life is experiencing itself moment to moment…
free of any judgement whatsoever.

All concepts of ownership exist only in the mind.

Image used with gratitude under
Creative Commons via Djuliet

GD Speaks

The Great Pretenders

One of the recurring feelings I had during my corporate career was the sense of being a fraud who was going to be exposed at any time. It was not because I was stealing money or clients from the company, it was far more subtle – a sense of having overstated one’s talents and clout, promising more than one could deliver and living with a fear of being found out.

Looking around, I realized that this is as common in the world of work as stapler pins. Politicians are constantly overstating their influence, businessmen are overstating their business acumen, celebrities are overstating their stardom. Even spiritual seekers and therapists sometimes pretend to be beyond their evolution. Almost everyone feels pressured to paint and then uphold a false picture of themselves. We don’t join the dots but the inevitable result is a sense of fear that follows us around like a shadow.

The funny thing is that I remember spending many months trying to get rid of this fear using spiritual tools and processes, but nothing seemed to clear it for good. A few hours or days and the fear would creep back into the system in a new guise.

My brother and mentor GD reminded me of this phase of my life on the phone today as he joked: “If we don’t stop creating false impressions, not even God can make our fear go away. Whenever we lie or pretend, there is bound to be fear. The simple way out is to BE and SAY exactly where you stand in this moment. But the ego, which has spent a lifetime trying to cultivate the perfect image and appearance, finds this terrifying. For some of us, being ‘exposed’ is worse than death. Because the false image has slowly become real… it has become ‘me’.”

“Most of us are not even aware of all the places in our life where we are hiding, role-playing, or pretending to be something we really aren’t. But one thing is certain: where there is deception, there will be some kind of anxiety or uneasiness. At those times, this simple question may change the game altogether: What is the truth in this moment that I am not acknowledging?”

As I heard GD speaking, I remembered the old adage: ‘The truth shall set you free’. But I wondered if I have the courage to speak it.

Illustration © Aalif Surti 2012

GD Speaks

The Bear and the Cage

I read a story once about a bear in Germany who was part of a roadside zoo. He was in a cage that was ten feet long and all day he paced inside 10 feet forward and 10 feet back. He was getting old so the zoo sold him to an animal sanctuary. The sanctuary put the bear into a natural habitat and opened the door of the cage. The bear didn’t leave the cage, but still paced back and forth – 10 feet forward and 10 feet back. Finally, to get him out, they lit a fire at the closed end of the cage. The bear came out and they took the cage away. But all he did was pace…10 feet forward and 10 feet back. The story had a sad ending: they had to put the bear down finally. But in our lives, we have a choice to break our old patterns.

Freedom is something we dream about inside cubicle cages or in binding marriages, especially when we consider the frightful prospect of realizing too late that we wasted our life. But coming out appears even more frightening as I realized when I quit a full-time corporate job last year.

Today, when I meet former colleagues and friends, they often tell me that they wish they could do what I did. They believe it’s financial insecurity which is stopping them. I wish I could tell them that it is the fear of facing all those parts of themselves which they are using work to avoid, it is the fear of stepping outside the cage of their comfort zone. And most of all, I wish I could tell them that once you take the first step, it is not scary. On one side of the decision, there appears to be a gigantic wall of panic and logic and practicality, but it is a fake wall – because on the other side there is a sunny expansiveness. It feels like a weight has dropped from your shoulders.

“And the most interesting part,” my mentor GD wanted me to add, “is that it is only the mind’s madness which has dropped – the fear, the fantasies, the projections. The luggage which has been put down was never real in the first place! There is nothing actual to be given up, except the mind’s never-ending game-plan for fulfillment. The mind does not realize that even after forty-fifty years of cleverness and struggle, it has got nowhere. And the only thing it can offer you is a new dream, a new fantasy, a new ride.

Being free is like being a bird in an open sky. There are no paths, no road maps and no rigid agendas. At our Core, we are pure freedom… we are pure exploration and creativity and adventure. Nothing else will satisfy.”

Image Using Creative Commons License from steve loya

Uncategorized

The Secret of Complete Silence

My little son Nirvaan and Kofi the little kitten encounter each other for the first time.
A little reminder that meditation can be just so simple…

GD Speaks

Resting in ‘I-don’t-know’

When I was younger and faced weekly with dramatic situations which I thought would derail the course of my entire future, my brother GD would stop my runaway train with just one question: “Can you be absolutely certain that it’s a bad thing? Can you really know the future?”

But my dream job didn’t work out…
But my soul mate left for another country…
But my financial situation is not improving…

“Can you know for sure that it’s a bad thing?” GD would ask. I had to admit that I didn’t really know. And in that, there was a calming down, a stopping of the mind and an openness to whatever was unfolding. Invariably, things eventually turned out well.

During last week’s Sunday session, GD reawakened this conversation: “The mind doesn’t know anything for certain – it is ambivalent about everything. And this ambivalence is a huge source of misery and frustration. Why don’t you just admit that you don’t really know?

Stop fighting with doubt and uncertainty, and just surrender. Rest in the stillness of I-don’t-know.

“No one really knows anything. We are all just innocent children pretending to be wise and sorted. Are you even sure that the money, success, security, fame – which you are chasing – is good for you? Is it really in your best interest? You can’t really know. In the space of not-knowing, in that space of innocent openness, we become available to the divine plan. But that is only when we have the intelligence and humility to acknowledge that I don’t know.”

If I look at my current life, I could tell the story from so many different vantage points – astrological, spiritual, medical, psychological, emotional, global, karmic… All would be true but none would be the real reason why things are happening the way they are. And no one can assert that with absolute authority. In moments of insanity, I try to figure out how and why and what next. In moments of sanity, I rest in the trust of not-knowing… and allow life to unfold.