MEET ME HERE WHERE WE ARE ONE

Meet Me Here Where We Are One

Book Description

This is the 8th book of Ananta Satsang talks, taken from online satsangs from 5th September to 19th October 2016.
Meet me here where we are One.
Meet me here where the universe is just a tiny firefly.
Meet me here before time and space.
Meet me where meeting Me is to meet Yourself.

Satsang with Ananta

High above the noise and pollution of Bangalore traffic on Old Airport Road, Beings from all corners of the world gather on the top floor of a multi story building. Flowers are placed where Anantaji’s feet will be and on the altar with photos of His Master, Sri Moojiji. Incense is lit, water is poured, and the Sangha sit quietly waiting for Anantaji, or Father as most of the Sangha lovingly call Him, to enter the room. When Anantaji joins the room, the Sangha stand in reverence and respect until their Father is seated. Ananta opens His mac laptop, connects to google hangout where there are many more Sangha all around the world waiting to join in live. And Satsang begins with “Namaste everyone, a very warm welcome to satsang today, Satguru Moojiji ki Jai.”

About Ananta

Ananta gives satsang with the blessings of his Master, Sri Mooji. He lives in Bangalore, India with his wife, son and daughter. He offers satsang in Bangalore, simultaneously broadcast live online via YouTube, which includes a Google Hangout. See Ananta Facebook page for Satsang schedules, recordings, transcripts, general information and updates of satsang with Ananta.

Satsang with Ananta YouTube channel and satsang link is:https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmc83jyrwpCNBT2xywXVoLg/feed

Website: www.anantasatsang.org

Facebook site: https://www.facebook.com/satsangwithananta

Sangha Facebook site: https://www.facebook.com/groups/satsangwithananta/

This is the 8th book of Ananta satsang talks, full of discourses, guided inquiry, and powerful discussions; a compilation of short, poignant talks taken from online satsangs from 5th September to 19th October 2016. This book includes Ananta reading from and commenting on the beautiful Ashtavakra Gita text and interacting with the Sangha on its powerful pointings. [Translation by Bart Marshall 2005 http://www.holybooks.com/wp-content/uploads/Ashtavakra-Gita-ebook.pdf] Also included are transcripts from the Silent Retreat with Ananta in Pune, India in October 2016. This book was transcribed with love by the Sangha and compiled and edited by Amaya, while keeping Ananta’s words as they were delivered so that his voice is heard as we read his words. (In conversational text, Q: means satsang guest / questioner and A: means Ananta speaking.) In deepest love and gratitude to Anantaji (nicknamed ‘Father’ by some) as an offering to all who seek Truth and freedom from suffering through these simple, clear and direct pointings.

Table of Contents

  • 2About Ananta
  • 3Table of Contents
  • 6Preface ~ You Are Shining Beautifully With Your Own Light
  • 7Is There a Difference Between Perception and Awareness?
  • 9Non-Phenomenal Knowing
  • 11Awareness Presents Itself as Consciousness
  • 13Is Perception Reliable?
  • 19The ‘Concept’ of Awareness Doesn’t Remove Suffering
  • 21For Identity to Exist, There Must be a Belief
  • 25Is There Ever A Sense of the World When I Am Not Present?
  • 32How to Experience What I Know Intellectually?
  • 39Drop All Concepts and Ideas Into The Satsang Fire
  • 41Recognition is a Re-Cognition
  • 42Look as Awareness Rather Than Trying to Remove the Ego
  • 45The Sage Laughs at Thoughts that He Once Took Seriously
  • 49Facing the Fear and Saying ‘I’m Not Interested Anymore’
  • 51Fear of Losing Beingness When the Body Dies
  • 54Nothing Can Touch This ‘I’ So Nothing Can Threaten It
  • 59Whatever the Content, This Being is Unchanging
  • 64Look for Yourself and Validate What I Say
  • 66The ‘I’ Which is Prior to the ‘I Am’ is the Truth
  • 67You Have Never Left the Truth
  • 69All Appears in the Light of Consciousness
  • 70Best to Just Let Go of This Mind
  • 72The Basis For Not Believing Thoughts
  • 74How Can We Find That Which is Beyond Phenomena?
  • 87Allow Yourself to Fall, to Relax & See What Happens
  • 89Who Is Aware of Everything and Nothing?
  • 94The Silence of The Reality of What You Are
  • 96If It Feels Like You Have a Choice, Don’t Believe Your Next Thought
  • 107The Body is a Beautiful Instrument, But It’s Not Me
  • 109There is No Sense of Bondage in this Very Moment
  • 110The Invitation is to Really Look Deeply
  • 112What I’m Saying is That We Are The Same Fundamentally
  • 115Burning the Conditioning of Fear for our Children
  • 117The Seeming-Paradoxes of Satsang Reveal Neutrality
  • 118The Integrity of Allowing and Looking
  • 119About Awareness Being Aware of Awareness
  • 121See the Belief Which is Here and Ask ‘Who is This Me?’
  • 124What Does It Mean ‘Don’t Believe Your Thoughts?’
  • 125Introducing Readings from the Ashtavakra Gita
  • 127How is Liberation to be Attained? (A.Gita 1.1-1.5)
  • 133Abide in Awareness with No Illusion of Person (A.Gita 1.1-1.6)
  • 138See This and Be Free (A.Gita 1.7-1.10)
  • 145Opening Talk and Blessing – Silent Retreat
  • 147Knowledge with a Capital ‘K’ (A.Gita Intro 1.1-1.3)
  • 150I Am That Knowingness Itself
  • 154If I’m Awareness, then Why Must I Abide in It? (A.Gita 1.4)
  • 155Personhood is a Pretense (A.Gita 1.4)
  • 156Witnessing of All Things (A.Gita 1.5)
  • 157Is Awareness and Knowing the Same?
  • 161Is ‘Here He Is’ or ‘Here I Am’ More Accurate?
  • 162Right and Wrong, Pleasure and Pain (A.Gita 1.6)
  • 163Consciousness Wants to Experience Its Limitlessness
  • 165What´s the Process that Being Seems to Go Through?
  • 166Does Anything Affect This ‘I Am’ in Reality?
  • 168‘When the Person Was Here’ Means What?
  • 174Pain Can Be There Without Suffering
  • 176Joy Comes By Staying with Truth & Consciousness
  • 178You are the Solitary Witness (A.Gita 1.7)
  • 179There is No ‘Seer’ There is Only Seeing (A.Gita 1.7)
  • 181What Happens When Consciousness Picks Up Belief?
  • 187That Which is Everything Cannot Get Lost
  • 188How Can I Be The Witness of All That is? (A.Gita 1.7)
  • 192The Witnessing Perspective is Non-Doership (A.Gita 1.8)
  • 194Only the False Needs Effort
  • 195Meet Me Here Where We Are One (Guided Contemplation)
  • 195It Is Impossible For I-Awareness to Suffer (A.Gita 1.9)
  • 197The Ego Does Not Actually Exist (A.Gita 1.10)
  • 198If It’s All My Creation Why Can’t I Manifest All I Want?
  • 199Nothing Outside of Presence is Ever Experienced
  • 200If You See What You Really Are, You Are Free (A.Gita 1.11)
  • 201Beingness Has No Boundaries (A.Gita 1.12-1.13)
  • 203Being Within the Inner Silence
  • 204Who Is Aware?
  • 207Let The False One Die While You Are Alive
  • 209This Moment is Your Best Friend
  • 214The Master Has the Master Plan
  • 215There Is No Freedom For The Person
  • 218Just a Simple Looking (Without Conclusion)
  • 219Who is Aware of Your Existence?
  • 224Is It ‘Game Over’ or Do You Still Want to Play as a Person?
  • 226Freedom is To Be Found Now
  • 227There is Nothing Arrogant About Awareness
  • 228Discovering Your True Place
  • 231Satsang Game: ‘I Am (3 Choices) But…’
  • 236Free, Luminous, Transparent Awareness (A.Gita 1.14-1.17)
  • 241Once This is Truly Known (A.Gita 1.18-1.20)
  • 243The Mind Tries to Prove That Separation Happened
  • 245All This Time, I’ve Been Duped By Illusion (A.Gita 2.1-2.2)
  • 247If You Just Look, You Cannot Escape This Self (A.Gita 2.4-2.5)
  • 249Bliss Too Will Pass
  • 250Eyes Shining with Joy but Mouth Speaking Otherwise
  • 251What Is Beyond Your Idea of A Terrible Life?
  • 252Blessing: Let Your Life Be My Message Now
  • 253Janaka’s Joy of Self-Realization (A.Gita 2.1-2.7)
  • 256Are You the Auto Rikshaw Driver?
  • 257That Which Has No Attributes is Timeless, Dimensionless
  • 258I Am Not Other Than Light (A.Gita 2.7-2.10)
  • 260The Concept of Arrogance
  • 263Filled With Wonder (A.Gita 2.10-2.14)
  • 265How Can Attention Check for That Which Has No Attributes?
  • 267Death Cannot Hurt This Seeing
  • 269How to Invoke the Presence of the Satguru?
  • 270The Transparent Self (A.Gita 2.15-18)
  • 275Am I in the Body or is the Body Within Me?
  • 276Satsang Game: You Say ‘Yes’ or ‘No’
  • 279Innocence, Openness, Acceptance
  • 280Whatever Follows ‘But…’ is Never the Truth
  • 283This Primal Knowingness Knows Existence
  • 287Is There a Distinction between ‘I’ and ‘Am’?
  • 288The Invitation is to See Who Witnesses All of This
  • 291The Ego is Just a Belief
  • 300I Am Revealed As Awareness Alone (A.Gita 2.18-2.20)

Preface

~ ~ ~

You Are Shining Beautifully With Your Own Light

Actually, the feeling that is here now is that I’ve been sharing for almost 3 years now, and almost every day. So there must be 500-600 satsangs somewhere. Also there are 7 books out now thanks to Amaya and the seva team. So you must be tired of hearing my voice now. [Chuckles]

What I was feeling to say was that I feel like there may be enough of questions now. What can happen is that it can just feel like a bit of spoon-feeding, the question and the answer; although it is very good because it dissolves our conditioning. But sometimes it can feel like I’m just available to you like a machine. You put a question in, and the answer comes out. And maybe sometimes it gets in the way of our deeper contemplation…, sometimes.

So, maybe I also ask you a lot of questions now, and see what is actually your own direct experience and you speak from there. And then we can look at things together more in this way; especially for those who have been in satsang for some time.

And also I feel like questioning your answers. Because many times I feel like we’ve heard all the answers now. We feel like we know the right answers. But for many of you, when the rubber hits the road, it’s gone straight out the window. I’ve been seeing some of that as well.

So, for some time, at least, I won’t be like a ‘satsang juke-box’. [Chuckles] You put the question coin in and out the answer comes. Hmmm? I’d like it very much, especially for those who have been in the sangha for some time to also tell me when they ask a question, what the [contemplation of the] question is. Then the question is really on fire because you’ve contemplated it; you’ve looked at it, and it’s burning with the fire of that contemplation. Then when it’s brought up, we can have an inquiry together.

Truly the intent here has never been to [create followers]. It’s not been the sense that I want to create a dependency, and we have a group of people who are dependent on the answers coming from here or something like this.

All of you are shining very beautifully with your own light, and I want to put some more ‘ghee’ in that light. [Chuckles]

Is There a Difference Between Perception and Awareness?

Q:All those who say that there is nothing which exists outside of my perception, or outside of my awareness. So I’d just like to…

A: Is there a difference between perception and awareness?

Q:Yes, of course there is a difference between perception and awareness. Perception is kind of like, you need some medium. Okay, there is an awareness of perception, of perceiving. And that makes a difference.

A:Yes, yes. Very good. So coming back to that same question, [Ananta touches a flower nearby] so the touching of the flower is there a distinction between saying ‘I’m aware of the flower’ and a distinction between I’m aware of the touch of the flower?

Q:[Silence] So, there is a difference between saying that ‘I’m aware of the flower’ and I’m aware of the touch of the flower. So, fundamentally Awareness or Knowing, knows nothing but Knowing. For example, in this experience of touching of flower what does knowing know? Knowing knows the touch of a flower as Knowing.

A: What does this mean?

Q:It means, (I don’t know how to describe it but) it means that Awareness is only aware of awareness.

A: It’s very beautiful, I want to prod you a little more.

Q: It means Awareness sees nothing but awareness.

A:So, there is no difference between sleep and waking?

Q:[Silence]

A:You see? Because if you realize the implication of what you are saying, then you’re truly saying that the creation never happened.

Q: No, I didn’t say that.

A:I’m saying that if all that Awareness fundamentally Knows is Itself, is Knowingness of Itself, (Knowing Knowing itself), then what is the point of any creation?

Q:Even while the creation happened, the split didn’t happen. So, I also wanted to insert this question into the contemplations that were going on earlier: ‘Did we ever have an unreal experience?’ Or in other words, does anyone ever have…, [has anyone] ever experienced an unreal experience? And according to my contemplations, I would say that I never had an experience which was unreal; including the dream experiences.

A:Yes, but that’s because the definition itself is that ‘If it is an experience, then it is real for you’.

Q:Yes, yes, of course. And that from that perspective, that even though in the waking, and in the dream, and in the sleep, there seems to be a changing appearance. But if you look from the perspective of the Knowing, of the Awareness of it…, (Okay, I am sorry…)

A:Let’s look deeper into this. This is a very beautiful contemplation because I have noticed that it’s popular sometimes to confuse that which is the functioning of Consciousness (which is the phenomenal perceiving) with the primal Awareness itself. And although fundamentally the phenomenal perceiving is also made up of Awareness (as with everything else) but in the play it does appear differently. That’s why the question of ‘To be aware of the flower, aware of the existence of the flower in front of me is different from to be aware of the touch of the flower’. To be aware of the seeing of the flower is qualitatively different from the touching of the flower. Not for Awareness, but in the play of Consciousness. So there is, along with the other forces, there are these sensory abilities that come which belong to Consciousness; which is also, like you said, the split never happened but there is this primal Awareness which is aware of the phenomenal perceiving, and which remains untouched.

So, we must be able to look into these things also.

Q:I feel it is very much true to say that…, like the most fundamental experience, like my hand…, (so I think [Laughing] it would be mad to say this but) I feel myself, that in my experience. I could say that my hand is like made up of Awareness.

A: Yes, yes. Why is it mad? And why is it not mad?

Q:[Laughter] It is mad because like for obvious reasons [Laughter], like ‘Are you crazy?’ [Laughter] ‘It is made up of flesh and bones, and experiences, and sensations’. And I would say that ‘All of those things are made up of what?’

So, like if we go on unraveling, deepening, then at the base of it, at the base of any experience, we find that there is Awareness. And that’s the bottom of the ocean below which we can’t go.

A: Yes, very beautiful.

Non-Phenomenal Knowing

Q:Father there was the question that I wanted to ask…

A:No, I’m not doing any work today. [Laughs]

Q:You were saying that outside my perception nothing exists, and to say that it exists would be a belief, would be an assumption. So, it’s just an 8th class aspirant question, like a childish question that I would like to ask; that I can’t see ultraviolet light, does it mean that ultraviolet light doesn’t exist?

Sangha Member: Is it your experience though?

Q:Yeah. So, experientially I cannot see ultraviolet light, means I can’t feel it? I can’t see it.

A:Yes…,

Sangha member: So it’s just an idea then?

A: Yes, so you mean to say…

Sangha member: Is it a concept? Or you’ve heard of it? Just like world is round? Do you actually know that? Have you been to outer space?

Q:So, at best I can say that I don’t know. But I cannot claim that I know for sure that it doesn’t exist only because I don’t experience it.

Sangha Member: No, but we are not talking about… [Inaudible] We are talking about your direct experience. That is all we are ever doing here. That’s why there’s no room for concepts here. That’s the only thing we ever do here. [Laughs]

A: But you yourself started by saying that ‘Nothing exists outside of my perception’.

Q: It’s like no different…, [Inaudible] point of view.

A: Yes, yes, yes.

Q:That no one ever experienced…, like experientially, I can’t feel ultraviolet light, I can’t see ultraviolet light, but scientifically we know that ultraviolet light exists.

Sangha member: You’re talking about the content of experience. But it’s not really what we are talking about.

A:Can we look at this for just a minute so we really see. [Silence] For those who know a lot of concepts, they can be called intellectual. I am not putting down the intellectual understanding. You could say that many who know a lot of things (scientists, intellectuals) they bring some value when they appear; completely fine. Those who have had direct experience of that which they’re speaking about, those can be called wise.

So, we are going from intellectually knowing a lot of things to having a direct experience of what is being spoken about; which is not restrictive. We can still say that ‘Intellectually I know about the existence of this, and the existence of that, but it is not my direct experience’. But those who speak of what they have experienced directly without just relying on just intellectual concepts or otherwise, and those who have come to this Knowing of Knowingness itself, Awareness of Awareness itself (which is the fundamental starting point for everyone actually) [Laughs] but when the Being (and all of this is part of the play) when the Being is coming to the recognition that it is made up of this Awareness, the Knowing of this Knowingness, then those can be called the Sages, because you come to the fundamental workings of this Universe.

So we go from intellectual, conceptual knowing to relying on more and more our direct experience, and then fundamentally coming to this Awareness of Awareness, which we cannot even call an experience actually because there is no word to describe it. We can it’s a non- phenomenal experience when we come to this non-phenomenal experiencing of our Self.

So, what both of you said is not wrong but you’re talking at different levels. So, there can be a conceptual understanding that something exists; there is gravity, there are oxygen molecules and carbon molecules in the air. We can know these things intellectually, so those that can be part of our intellectual understanding.

Then we are moving to our direct experience of what is Seen. Because coming to the direct experience is what brings clarity. You see?

And then when we go beyond even experience.

I feel the final experience that we can really talk about is available through the question ‘Can you stop Being?’

You can experience your own Presence, your own Being. There is nothing (at least that I have found) that is more primal than that. And yet when we ask ‘Are you Aware now?’ or ‘Who is Aware of Awareness’…, this recognition; we can call it non-phenomenal experience but it’s not really even an experience. Isn’t it? You see?

Awareness Presents Itself as Consciousness

Many threads have been opened today. So what are we saying? We’re saying that there is this Awareness which is unmoving, untouched; non-phenomenal. Even to say that ‘I exist’ at that point will seem like a fallacy because even the existence of existence is not there yet. It is just this ‘I’ that remains, with no qualities, no attributes.

And things like suffering, problems, in all of this we cannot suffer in our sleep state. You see? So, in deep sleep there is no concept of anything at all.

Then what happens? For some unexplained reason (although many can give many reasons but let’s say for unverifiable reasons) within this Awareness (and therefore made up of Awareness Itself) there is a sense of existence, ‘I Am’. This ‘I Am’, Consciousness, God’s Presence, Satguru, (whatever you like to call it) Beingness, appears. The Atma, the Presence of this Atma and the Light of this Atma, (we can say) the one cause of all creation or we can say in the Light of this Presence ‘I Am’.

So, we go from Atma to atom. [The word atom] which is also derived from this, you see? Atom; which was like the fundamental building block according to the ones who named it like that. So, in the light of this Presence comes the world of atoms and molecules and all the other forces which are the phenomenal experience.

So, Awareness presenting itself qualitatively as Consciousness and yet unchanged in Itself, then projecting upon itself (Consciousness projecting upon itself) this world of atoms and molecules and light and fire and belief and identity and attention; all of this phenomenal perceiving of sight and hearing and taste; all of this is born.

Even now there is no suffering, no trouble, no problems.

So we’ve gone from Awareness playing as Consciousness projecting onto Itself this entire realm of this world, of this universe.

But what happens is that the power of belief, its power to pretend…

So, when these thoughts come and belief is going to it, then this Atma Itself is now pretending to play as if it is a person. And with the imagined creation of this personal identity come all the problems, suffering, trouble, ideas. You see? Ideas about how life should be. The resistance to what is. All of this is personal.

So most are involved in just this personal trouble. Even the seeker identity is an attribute of the person itself.

So, this person; and then there is the sense of ‘Not only am I a person but everyone around me is also a person; society and population and government and how should the world function’. Those kind of problems, which also are fundamentally personal but seem like collectively personal.

So, we’ve gone from One Undivided Awareness playing as ‘I Am Presence’ projecting this world of atoms and molecules and then using its own power to pretend or believe; pretending as if it’s one of the objects which is found here, leading to what is called the ego or the personal identity. And then maybe in the final, most distracting trick of the mind itself, of the separate identity itself, is to presume that ‘Not only am I a separate person but all these other beings which seemingly appear also are individual persons in themselves’.

Is Perception Reliable?

A: Let’s start by you telling me something which is undeniable.

Q: This is appearing.

A: This is appearing; implying what? What is appearing?

Q:There’s what I might call the Now, the Now-ness, and a whole array of appearances, forms. Different energies, subtle and gross.

A:Does this appearance have any reliability? If you want me to elaborate on the question, I can.

Q:What do you mean by reliability?

A:The other day we saw one video which is called ‘The McGurk Effect’. Remember that one? Actually he was saying ‘Bah, bah, bah, bah’ but because his lips were moving ‘Fah, fah, fah, fah’ then you were hearing ‘Fah, fah, fah’. So if fundamentally we cannot trust our senses to report on this appearance, then can we say that there is any solid, tangible reliability to anything that appears? Because if exceptions like this can come, then we can question every single phenomenal appearance, isn’t it? And all of you must watch this video. It’s about the McGurk effect. And it really shows you how our senses are so easily fooled. Along with all the optical illusions, there is audio illusion. There are many optical illusions. This one is an audio illusion, actually hearing something that he’s not saying. It’s because…, okay, you should watch it. [Laughter] Therefore if there is no reliability to anything appearing in this, then is this truly undeniable in that way? Can we really say it is appearing in the first place?

Q:I would say that I only know of it through perception. And I can’t guarantee that my perception is reliable, but I can’t deny that it’s appearing, so I would say that the appearance is reliable.

A:Yes. Very good. So, you said something very beautiful, which was ‘I cannot be sure that my perception is reliable’. So all that is perceived in this way, if we keep it aside, then what remains?

You and I can just share a few things. So if we can see that our sight is unreliable (in that video we see our hearing is unreliable, our touch and taste) all of us have had experiences where they have been unreliable, then we can say that at least the perception of this outward-seeming realm seems to be unreliable because I cannot even trust my senses. So, if this is left as unreliable and therefore (beautifully you say) not to be in denial of the appearance, but on the reliability of what is appearing; so that if we keep aside the unreliable, then is there something else which can be relied upon?

Q:It feels like there is a sense of perception which doesn’t rely on any senses, and it’s empty of content, somehow. It’s empty of perception, somehow.

A: Take an example. What do you mean sense of perception?

Q:It’s not a sound, it’s got no image, it’s got no color, it’s got no size. It’s that upon which the senses appear. The sense of vibrations.

A:What about imagination?

Q:Yeah, also.

A:Any sense of perception, which can bring memories, imagination, thought, sensations of the body. But we have seen that memories are very, very unreliable. Our thoughts are supremely unreliable…, and blatantly lying anyway! [Laughter] So, memory is gone, imagination is just imagination and therefore by definition unreliable. So, is there anything you can rely on, even in this seemingly inner perception?

Q:Only the sense that it’s there. Because it seems like the sense that it’s there…, it’s not reliable in that way because it’s empty.

A: Yes.

Q:Does that make sense?

A:Elaborate a little more.

Q: Because it’s not presenting anything.

A:What is not, this inner perception?

Q:This sense of perception.

A:Yes.

Q:That upon which everything else appears; imaginations, senses, memory. It’s perceived, or known, independent of everything which appears on it. So, it’s not presenting anything which could be labeled reliable or unreliable; it feels like it’s outside of those categories. Because reliable means ‘Am I perceiving things as they are?’ or maybe as another would perceive them. But it’s earlier than that.

A:So, would you say that this inner perceiving, phenomenal perception (although it is inward) is reliant on anything at all?

Q: Yes. Me.

A: So, you mean that you have to exist, for this to exist?

Q:Yes, and I’m just trying to see if they’re the same thing. It felt almost as though I could just See, and then attention started… [Makes fluttering sound]

A:What you’re really contemplating is because I perceive…, ‘I perceive, therefore I am’. Is that what you’re saying?

Q:Yeah, is that upon which all of these things appear the sense ‘I Am’ itself? Or is it just a screen of perception which couldn’t exist without the sense ‘I Am’? [Pause] I think it’s different.

A:Does it have any correlation with what I call the twin of Being, which is attention? This perception, whether outward or inward, isn’t it directly correlated with that which we call attention also?

Q:Is what correlated with attention?

A:This inward perception.

Q: It is, but I’m struggling to see what the relationship is.

A: Is it possible to perceive without getting some attention?

Q: No, but it’s also possible to perceive attention.

A:Yes. How do we perceive attention? Is it the same quality of inward perception that perceives attention?

Q: [Immediately] No.

A:Okay, that was quick! [Chuckles] So, you must have the answer then.

Q:Attention is prior to any perception, yet attention can fall on this.

A:Yes. So, the perceiving of attention, how is this different from the perceiving of a phenomenon, whether inward or outward?

Q:Because it seems that attention can’t find attention. And yet if I try and bring my attention to my attention, it seems to dissolve back into a deeper… It can’t be seen, but it knows attention.

But it also feels phenomenal.

A:Very good. So see if you can wrap this up now. What have you discovered in this?

Q:Being. [Laughs]

A:You see that all phenomenal perception needs attention, but how is attention itself perceived? You say it is not perceived in that same way, but it is Known. This Knowingness, awareness of attention… [Pause] Can you take it forward from this?

Q:It feels like that is the feeling ‘I Am’.

A: It’s okay, we’re looking together. How is the ‘I Am’ known?

Q: Just intuitively, without needing to be seen. It’s just…, it is. I Am.

A:How is it different from how attention is known?

Q:It feels more like a lack of attention. [Sangha member makes exclamation noise]

A: She’s shouting ‘Eureka! Eureka!’ before he’s even said the discovery. [Laughs]

For attention to be perceived or Known (let’s use Known as a better word, actually) we don’t need attention, you say. And yet for any phenomenal perceiving, we need attention.

Q: Yes.

A: So, are you saying that you’re innately aware of this attention…, in some way?

Q:Yes. It just feels like in order to enter that dimension of perceptions, it’s felt that…, so when there’s the question ‘Can I stop being?’ or ‘Can you bring your attention to your attention?’ it’s like something dissolves back into this Being. Now, to then re-enter, to come back somehow, or to bring focus back into the dimension of perception, it feels that something starts to move from the pure Being, and in order to single out a certain perception (like a sound maybe) something contracts. But it’s a very natural contraction. But that movement of attention can’t find

Beingness, it can only dissolve back into Beingness.

A:Is there ever the experience or the Knowing of attention when there was no sense that I exist, or Being?

Q: No.

A:So, there must be Being for there to be attention.

Q:Yes.

A:Is there ever the experience of Beingness without there being any attention?

Q: Yes. Well, it’s like a potential for attention is always there, but it’s not required.

A:Very good. Therefore now, if I was to say something like ‘For phenomenal perceiving to happen, there needs to be the sense of existence working in consonance with this play of attention. Both are prerequisites for any phenomenal perceiving’.

Q: Yeah.

A:Versus, for Awareness to be aware of itself…, would you say that this is a part of this perception?

Q: No.

A:Very good. To see this is very important. And as I was saying yesterday, much too often phenomenal perceiving is getting mixed up with Awareness itself.

Q:So, this Beingness then; prior to perception, not dependent on attention, felt but not perceived in that way, not seen or not really tangible in any way other than ‘There it is! The backdrop’.

A:And yet (as you said) we cannot truly say that attention is not at play there. Because it seems like it’s there but it’s not moving in the phenomenal realm. Isn’t it?

Q: It’s like attention reaches for a specific; and Being isn’t specific.

A:And yet there have been instructions from the sages which said ‘Keep your attention on Being itself’. What must then be implied is: See, if possible; keep your attention at home, umoving, unchanging, along with the phenomenal content of the world.

Q:And it’s very restful. It’s almost like that is home for attention, but it’s maybe just so used to going out. And it needs to go out, as well. I mean, it needs to go out to hear these words, to cross the road or something, but… [Silence]

A: Yes. But That which is aware is un-reliant on attention or Being in any way. Isn’t it?

Q: Yeah, that’s just… phew!

A: Yes. [Laughs]

Q:I have to be honest and say that to try and somehow go beyond this Beingness seems like there’s just a habit to pick it up with the mind and try to understand it. So I feel like it’s enough: Just Knowingly be the Beingness. It’s enough.

A:Yes. It’s more than enough!

Q:It’s so beautiful.

A: It is Knowing God. What can be not enough about it? [Laughs]

Q: It’s so spacious.

[Long silence]

The ‘Concept’ of Awareness Doesn’t Remove Suffering

For the last couple of days, we’ve been trying something new. The feeling here was that there’s been sharing happening from here for about three years now, and almost non-stop. So, for a while it feels like we don’t want to do the same typical thing, the same question and answer format; where we bring all the questions and I do all the work [Chuckles] basically. So, I’ve been working very hard the last three years contemplating all the topics. Now I feel like for a while, I can ask the questions. It’s been very nice the last couple of days when I’ve been asking the questions.

For the new ones, of course, when the question is there for someone who is new to satsang, I’m happy to answer. But mostly, for most of you who have been with me for a while, it’s been very good. Because when you’re put into that ‘hot seat’ of answering the question, a lot of concepts, a lot of ideas get looked at; and they get thrown away.

Like yesterday, we saw that because we’ve been in satsang, it’s very natural for us to create an idea about Awareness; a visual replica of Awareness. And we see when the rubber hits the road, when the day-to-day life and the seeming problems of day-to-day life come, then it seems like the concept of Awareness is not really helpful. And in fact it can be even more troublesome. Because when the feeling of suffering, the feeling of anxiety, the feeling of fear is coming and we’re trying to hold on to the concept ‘No, no. I’m Awareness. I’m not this’…, when it is only conceptual, it doesn’t really help.

So, in the light of this questioning, we’re shining our own light on ‘What is it that I really am experiencing? What am I really Seeing?’

Because ours is not the kind of Advaita which says that ‘Yes, yes, even suffering is fine because suffering is also part of the play. So, let suffering happen. It is okay’. You see, because that is a big fallacy. That is just mental.

It cannot be that we come to the discovery of who we Are and for there to be this sense of suffering that still continues. Because once we see that ‘I Am this Awareness’ you also see that it is untouched by any phenomena in this world.

So, if there is suffering, there is a false belief.

So no matter what Advaitic concept we know, this basic fact still remains. So, this is not that type of Advaita satsang where we say that ‘Yes, but there’s nothing I can do; there’s no doer’. It’s all true. [Chuckles] But here, if most of you are not becoming free of your suffering, you’re not coming to a point where the ideas which make you suffer are not becoming more and more laughable, then I must say that I might not be doing my job properly. [Chuckles] Because I don’t

want to leave you with some sense of mental Advaita. I don’t want to make you a sage in your mind.

And as you’re discovering your true light, you will find that not only is it becoming impossible for you to suffer, but all those who come into your Presence, your Light, will start laughing at their ideas of suffering. This is the Light that will be ignited in satsang.

So, suffering for us is an opportunity to inquire.

Mental conception, mental interpretation, cannot help us be rid of our suffering on a consistent basis. And therefore suffering is not something to be looked down upon but it is a great opportunity, it is great grace to inquire into that which we are still believing. It is the provocation, it is the invitation, to open up. And the more we resist our suffering, the more we say ‘Yes, yes, suffering is here but I’m not experiencing it’ …, these are just mental Advaita.

If you are truly open, if you find that you are not a person, you cannot show me a way to suffer.

And remember that I’m not speaking about pain here. I’m speaking about that which we call suffering. If your fist is open, you cannot hold on to suffering. So suffering is an indicator of how open we are. And if it is still experienced, then use that as an invitation to inquire and to See ‘What is still being held onto which is false?’ And don’t try to push it under the carpet.

(I said I won’t speak but so many words are coming out [Chuckles] and there’s nothing I can do about them.)

This denial of suffering; Advaita can be the best excuse, the best way to deny what is our living experience, what is our living truth. So better not to be in denial of these things. Because as we shine our light on them, then it’s like I like to say ‘Sunlight is the best dis-infectant’.

My feeling to ask more questions is also my feeling to get you to shine your own Light onto your beliefs and onto your own life so that there is no dependency here on you continuing to carry the Arjuna perspective. I want you all to carry the Krishna Light.

For Identity to Exist, There Must be a Belief

Q:I remember a week ago you had this satsang about deep sleep. I never really gave it that much thought until it came (the contemplation) until that satsang. So, what is it that is aware during deep sleep? And what is aware that you are coming out of sleep or going into sleep? To me it felt that it’s ego [cognizing]. (Maybe not cognizing, I don’t know if cognizing is the right word but the way I feel, it is.) So, when I wake up in the body-sense and I see that this is flower and this color is orange, and this is this; this is that cognizing ability to differentiate things. So, based on that, in deep sleep also this turiya experience that we have; it’s an experience. Okay? So, I feel it’s the cognizing ego that gives too much importance to all this and which actually divides that

‘This is deep sleep, this is awake, this is waking up’…, and something like that.

A:Yes, so the mental division, or the conceptual division, of course, is at the level of concept.

But for the ego to cognize, we must look at what we mean by ‘ego’ in the first place. You see?

So what is ego? What do you mean by ego?

Q:What I mean by ‘ego’ is something that consistently persists to confirm something. When it’s not the ego, it just is an insight that comes and just leaves. It doesn’t have the push. Whereas ego is something that subtly or over a period of time, just consistently wants to push things.

A:Take an example, illustration of this; what does it mean ‘Consistently wants to push something’?

Q:Okay. I don’t know why this example is coming to my mind right now (but) Paryushan is going on right now and, are you aware about Paryushan? It’s a Jain festival. So, there is this fasting that we do. And so one day I was fasting. The body was fasting (because now I know the difference between fasting). So, I was cutting something with the knife and I ended up cutting my thumb. So after watching it (physically watching it) for a few minutes, just to see how the blood flows and everything…, I don’t know I was just very curious.

A: [Laughs] You sound like me actually.

Q:[Laughs] And then a natural response was just to put that thumb in the mouth, sucking it just to drink. Now, I am Jain. I have been born in a Jain family, vegetarian. And I drank the blood and I was fasting. So, did I break my fast? [Laughter in the room]

So, it just came like that and there was this absolute clarity of insight which said (not said but just insight which says) that fasting is for senses that reach out; not for the natural responses. I asked this to my mom, she said ‘You didn’t do it intentionally, it’s okay, nobody cares’. So, that’s how we are showing love and everything. But for me that insight was enough to know that fasting is not something that I am doing. It’s for the senses. You know? Just to bring yourself to a center. Probably just taking this in was just a natural response and I didn’t feel guilty about it at all. And I shared it with a friend and she was like ‘Probably you are the first Jain vampire.

[Laughs] So, I think for me that is the insight. But if I probably would have held onto it, the mind would still bring up all these stories, you know; some stories from Mahavir’s life, all the story that we grew up listening to and you know, different, different things; a lot of other things.

So, I think that is (I would say) the cognizing ego which is trying to pull you consistently. Whereas insight is ‘Okay, this is it’ and it is gone. It doesn’t care whether you agree or not, don’t agree or what happens. So, for me, that’s the cognizing ego. Does it make sense?

A:Let’s look and dig a bit deeper into this. It’s very good. So, when we are linking it back to what the ego is…, let’s use one of your sentences. You say that ‘I might be the first Jain vampire’. So this ‘I’ is which one?

Q:This ‘I’ is the one that the world has perceived me to be, to be a Jain and a vampire. Okay, I am not Jain or vampire. [Laughter in the room]

A:Yeah, that’s good. So, Jain is an identity, vampire is an identity; both can be kept aside. You see? So, all this collection of identities, collection of beliefs…, you see already, isn’t it? … that you can’t identify as if you are something unless you believe a thought about it. Do you see this?

Q: Yes, very clearly.

A:So, all of our identities which are constantly changing any way from time to time; from 5 years ago, there could be a different set of belief systems, different set of identities which we believe ourselves to be. You know ‘I am like this, I am rebellious, I work in this way, I am truthful, I am honest’. All these ideas we have about ourselves, they keep changing over periods of time. So, if for a moment we keep all of these identities aside (you say that ‘I am neither of these; I am neither Jain nor vampire’) is there something which you ARE, which is undeniable?

Q: I can’t define it.

A:You have a sense of it but you are not able to put it in language, is that the problem? Or is it that you can’t find it?

Q: I can’t put it in language.

A: Can’t put it in language; which is not actually such a big problem. Actually it is a good thing.

Q:If you remember (I think in the Heart Altar [group] I had mentioned once) that there was this whole chaos that was going on. I don’t remember if you recollect it right now.

A: I do, yes, yes.

Q:And during that chaos when those inquiries arose, and even to type that word ‘Knowingness’ I just couldn’t bring anything else. You know? But I had to write it because I had to somehow get it out of my system. But I think the problem is holding on or Being that Knowingness.

A:Okay, so now what have we discovered so far in our conversation? That there is a set of identities which can be held onto; when we talked about the religious identity or some sort of phenomenal functioning identity which can be held onto. And we also said that these identities are a function of our beliefs. So, that which is a function of our beliefs and comes and goes with our belief in it, does that have any cognizing ability?

Q: It feels to me, no.

A:Yes, so this bundle of beliefs, this baggage of identity itself inherently is nothing but concepts which have been given belief. You see? So that in itself…, these concepts obviously cannot have any abilities to cognize.

Now, what is it that has the power of belief then? Is it an identity?

Q:Yes, I think we could say it is an identity. But it feels more like something that draws attention there. Maybe it is identity. Maybe identity is the word I would give it.

A:Let’s look closer at this. Because if identity itself relies on belief, then for there to be identity first, there must be the power of belief. So, belief must be prior to identity. Isn’t it?

Can there be identity without belief? There cannot be. Isn’t it?

Therefore belief cannot be a functioning of identity itself because for identity to exist, there first must be a belief.

Q: Yes.

A:Yes. You see? So, we have already come to a very beautiful point where we see that belief seems to be a more primal power that any ego or identity can have.

Now, you are seeing that the ego can neither cognize, these identities can neither cognize, not do they have any power, including the power of belief.

That which itself is a belief cannot have the power of belief. You see?

So, identity itself is a belief and therefore just belief cannot have a power. If I believe that I am a Martian or a vampire (like you said) then that vampire cannot have a power, you see, because that vampire itself is a belief, or the Martian itself is a belief.

So, that which is just conceptual can have no power even in this phenomenal realm.

Now…, we find that in the sleep state there is nothing like ‘belief’ or ‘not belief’. Only in the waking state these powers come; attention, belief.

So, what is it that changes between sleep state and waking state?

Q: [Silence] I don’t know.

A: It’s very good to look. So, if I ask you ‘What time did you wake up this morning?’

Q: 7:00

A:You woke up at 7:00 am. So what is it that woke up at 7:00? [Silence] You have always said

‘I woke up’. You see? But already you said that ‘There is awareness of sleep and there is awareness of waking’. So, if awareness is the constant, then what is that which woke up at 7:00?

Q: [Silence] I think attention woke up at 7:00 to look at the clock and say 7:00.

A:Not bad. [Chuckles] This is very good. This is the first time I have heard this answer

[Chuckles] and you are right. But even attention…, even for attention to exist, don’t YOU have to exist first? Is there ever the experience of attention without the sense that ‘I exist’?

Q: Yes.

A:Actually, you touched on a very beautiful point, which is that for many years I have actually said that attention, belief, all of these are products of our existence, our Being. But as we look at it more and more, we realize that the birth of attention and Being is almost like the birth of twins. Both are like co-joined twins. So, this existence, wasn’t it there in the sleep state?

Q:[Silence] You know, what comes to me right now is the mind (or so far, what has been my belief of Beingness or Presence) is what I relate to as existence. And maybe that’s why I am not in a position to know of the existence in the form of sleep state.

A:Yes, very good. So, if I offer you this question: ‘Can you stop being now?’…, (and you actually have to try to physically stop being)…

Q: Not possible.

A: [Laughs] Not possible. So this Being…, is it present in sleep state? [Silence]

So, let’s do it this way; that if I give you a proposition that ‘At 7 o’clock, what woke up was this sense of Being…, (although awareness of Being or not-being remain constant) …, can you check on this and see whether this is the case or not?

Q:I don’t know. I don’t feel to check. [Chuckles]

A:[Laughs] You don’t feel like checking?

Q:No.

A:[Laughs] Why? Why don’t you feel like checking? That’s very good. [Laughs and laughter in the room] It’s very good that she is able to expose that.

Q: [Laughs] So, why don’t I feel like checking?

A: Can we check on that at least? [Laughs]

Q: Yes, that feels okay. So…, it feels like what I discover might be the end of the journey.

A:Yes, yes. You will see this. This is very, very important. I am very, very happy that you expose this. Because the minute it feels like ‘Okay, this might be the end’ then something feels like ‘No, no, no. This is too much fun right now, let’s not go too quickly’. Something can feel like that.

Q:And after, probably 15-20 minutes after the Satsang is over, it will say ‘Oh, you had a chance and you missed it!’

A:This is the 1-2 punch. This is the 1-2 punch of the mind, you see. Also it can happen is that sometimes it can be like this ‘No, no, no. The journey is too much fun but it will come to an end’. But the fun will not end. It’s not like I am one lifeless robot. It’s not like that. The fun doesn’t end.

The second thing could be that (for many) when we are exploring like this at this level, very directly, moving away from conceptual ideas, then it can feel like a subtle fear of death can come or a subtle fear of something ending can come.

So, for some it can be light like this and it can feel like ‘It’s no fun, it will end the journey’. And for some there can be a stronger resistance; like we had this recently where one felt like she had to leave the room, she could not sit. She just had to leave because it felt like a strong fear or something was coming up in that checking.

But it’s not bad. We have already looked at lot of beautiful insights. And this is the reason why we actually have Satsang so frequently, Monday to Friday’ because I know sometimes, we can

come to a point and can feel like ‘Okay, enough. Let me marinate in this for now and then I will build some more spiritual stamina and come back to this deeper looking’ …., which is absolutely

fine. So the intent here is not to push you into it. Already, I feel we have clarified a lot of insights today and are more directly….

Q: Please push me. I know myself too well. I may not come again anytime soon. Please push me.

A:[Laughs] That is why. Because this can also feel like…, this can seem very real. ‘I might not come back’. And that is why I find that one of my Master’s blessings or the Guru’s blessings is that ‘Those who are my children in the sangha, they love me too much to not come back’. You see? So you might not trust yourself to come back or not; but I know that there is something already there. Because something is saying ‘Push me’ and the same one is saying ‘Don’t push me’. You see? This ‘Push me/don’t push me’ is going on. [Laughs]

And already the question which is pushing you is there with you; which is that ‘What is it that wakes up when I wake up at 7:00? It is a very, very primal question. And if you can look at this (at your own pace, comfortably) then you will find that something will reveal itself to you.

I have also given you the question: ‘Can you stop being?’ And I have said that this question is correlated with this waking state. So, what is this being that cannot be stopped? And yet we have direct experience of something called sleep where even this Being is not present.

This question: ‘Can you stop being?’ is a response to a prayer which is: ‘Can you show me

God?’ So, to come face to face with God is to explore this question: ‘Can I stop being?’

What is this Being?

This that is here, is it personal?

Does it have desires and aversions?

Does it have likes and dislikes?

Without the light of this Being, does anything exist?

All these forces of gravity, light, sound, electricity, all these senses of touch, taste, smell, sight, hearing, all of these…, can any of these exist without YOU being first?

Therefore, what must be this Being? And ultimately, for whom is this Being (which seems to be the light of this universe) also coming and going?

This is the exploration we are doing together. And it’s a wonderful, joyous, journey. It’s a wonderful, joyous looking. And some fears can come, some resistance can come; sometimes lethargy can come. And it’s okay. I am not going to leave you so easily.

Q: Thank you.

Is There Ever A Sense of the World When I Am Not Present?

Q: I just felt to be on the hot seat. Fire away!

A:Okay, very good. [Laughter] All of us, we gather for what? We gather for the truth, isn’t it?

We gather to hear the truth. So, can you tell me something which is true?

Q: Umm, that I am here. I exist.

A:Yes, you say that you exist, you exist. Very nice. Now this ‘you’ that exists, which one is that one?

Q:It is the ‘I’.

A:The ‘I’ …

Q:It is the ‘I’, the Awareness-I.

A:The Awareness-I.

Q:Yeah, I don’t know what you want to call it.

A:That’s good. [chuckles] This is good.

Q:Yeah, it’s definitely not the personality, the person. It is so quickly seen how that just [poof sound] is really not there. As much as it tries to come up and vie for attention.

A: Yes.

Q:It really is not of no consequence. I mean, you know you talk about getting to the place where you are like doubling with laughter. And then it is a frequent occasion.

A: [Laughter] Yes.

Q:And there are sometimes when if you kind of (I call it) loosen the grip a little bit and then go with it, then suffering is right there; especially in times of stress or family issues or things like that. But quickly, very quickly, it is like ‘Oh, oh’.

A: Yes

Q: And that’s pretty much about it.

A:Yes, so when we say ‘exist’…, we say that ‘It is only ‘I’ that exists’…, we can also say that this computer exists or this body exists.

Q: In a way, it exists for the reality of the perceiver. Does that make sense?

A:Same question for you. You say that ‘I exist’. And when we looked at this ‘I’ we said that ‘This ‘I’ is not personal, it is Awareness’. And then I asked you whether ‘Does the computer not exist…, or whatever device is in front of you (computer or iPad or whatever is in front of you)…, can we truly say it doesn’t exist?’

Q: In deep sleep, it doesn’t exist. But I’m still…, there is still the ‘I’.

A:Yeah. Is it that it doesn’t exist in deep sleep? Or is it just that you just are not cognizant of it, that you just can’t see it?

Q: Well, you know, I really don’t know. I don’t know. [Laughter]

A: [Laughter] It is very good.

Q:I don’t know. Because the mind wants to come in and say it exists, because somebody else over the other side of the world is awake and they’re on a computer, you know, so it must exist. Yeah, that is just a mind thing. So I had no idea. I don’t know.

A:Has there been an experience of some other realms which seem just as real, but now in this waking state we feel to say that they don’t exist really?

Q: Yes, yes, like a dream, for instance, in a dream.

A:Yes, yes. Does the dream exist without your existence?

Q:No.

A:Is there any qualitative difference in the experience of the dream and the experience of this waking state?

Q: No, no. [Laughter]

A:It is experienced exactly in the same way. Therefore if we were to say that ‘In all the realms that have been experienced here, in this waking state, it seems clear to me that the entire dream was a projection within this Consciousness’. Therefore we see that Consciousness has this infinite ability to project time, to project space, to project all the characters possible on the screen of what we call life. You see? So, this entire play (in terms of its tangibility) seems exactly the same. Would that be…, would that resonate with your experience?

Q: Yes. Yes, it would.

A:Many times when I ask this question, many times we feel like ‘But here, I have a memory of yesterday. In a dream, it just starts in the middle’. So, that is one difference. But when we look at that, we also find that the dream doesn’t start with saying ‘Oh, where am I? Who am I? Who are these people?’ We don’t start a dream with amnesia, do we? We recognize those people.

Sometimes they feel like family to us. So there must be the same functioning of memory, the same functioning of past, ideas about past, which also must be available there.

Q: Yes.

A: Isn’t it?

Q: Yes, it is so clear.

A:And even in the direct experience of this waking state, we have never experienced this world without first the sense of existence, ‘I exist’ being there. Isn’t it? The world only exists for me. You see? Is there ever an experience of the world without there being this sense of existence ‘I Am’? There never is, in our experience. As [sangha member] said ‘In our experience, at least, all that exists in this phenomenal realm relies first on the fact that I must exist’. Isn’t it?

Q: Yes, yes. [Chuckles]

A:Very good. So, is there ever this experience that even the sense that ‘I exist’ is not present?

Q:In deep sleep. I don’t say that in deep sleep. It just is.

A:Yes, would you then say this is the fundamental difference between the [deep] sleep state and the waking state?

Q: Yes.

A:[Chuckles and a warm gaze] Now, that which is able to discern or is the witness of both of these…

Because what are we saying? We’re saying that suddenly it is like this this camera got covered and it becomes all black [Covers laptop camera with hands] and then suddenly there is light. [Hand removed from camera] If there wasn’t a witness of that blackness, would we be able to report that suddenly it becomes black?

Q: Yes

A:You see? So, there needs to be a witness even of that…, there is nothing there. And yet at the same time, we see that sleep state means that there is nothing; no-thing.

Therefore, what is it that I must be if there is nothing that exists in [deep] sleep state and yet I am the witness of that?

Q: Can you please repeat that last bit one more time?

A:Yes, yes. We said that sleep state seems like camera is covered. And then suddenly there is the waking state and this entire world of appearances is back. But to be able to report that there was nothing in sleep, there must be a witnessing. What is that?

There was nothing, yes? Isn’t it? Now what is it that is even beyond this ‘thing’ and ‘nothing’ which must be the witness of this distinction between ‘nothing’ and ‘something’?

Q:It just Is. It is just no thing. It’s everything, no-thing. It just Is.

A:Yes. [Chuckles] Yes, yes.

Q:But that is the ‘I’. That is the True-I.

A:Yes. Very good, very good. Now what can happen in the waking or dream state that can actually hurt this I?

Q: Nothing. [Laughter]

A:Okay. So, you say that ‘I am this which stays unhurt’. It is not threatened. Like in ‘The Course in Miracles’ we say:

Nothing real can be threatened

Nothing unreal exists

Herein lies the peace of God

Isn’t it? So, our discovery seems to be similar to that. Because if this ‘I’ is real then it cannot be threatened, you see?

Very good. So, if I am this ‘I’ but I want to play the game of suffering, what must I do now to make myself suffer?

Q: I have to believe my thoughts.

A: [Laughter] Yes, but right now I am just this ‘I’.

Q: Oh, oh. Nothing.

A:There are certain steps that must need to happen first, before even the thoughts can appear.

Q:There is no suffering. Because it would be nothing; actually just be nothing. [Laughter]

A:[Chuckles] So, this ‘something’ that appears, [Waved arms to point to the room] this something that appears, is that not I?

Q:Phenomenally it is I. But only because I can see it. So, it is the sort of the same question but in a different way. [Laughs]

A: Yes. [Laughter] She is like ‘Got you there’.

Q:[Laughter] It is only there if it is seen. If I see it, it is there; otherwise [Waves hands in a crossing-out motion]. The magnitude of that is breathtaking. It is like when we spoke about conceptually knowing about the ‘I’. And I feel that there was some of that there. And that this whole questioning has really like just… [Pounds fist gently] Because you know… [Chuckles]

Yeah.

A: Yes, yes, very good.

Q:Because you know, there is a slogan in the west that says ‘The mind is a terrible thing to waste’. It should be the opposite; the mind should be a thing to waste. [Both Laugh]

[Sighs] And the freshness just keeps growing and growing; it’s just brighter and brighter. Like today after silent satsang, you talked about shining our own light. And it really, it really made an impact. And so, you know, there was space for that this morning. There was just space for sitting, just sitting. And, of course the daily routine of mom and householder and all these things…, but there was so much freshness about it, literally like it was being done for the very first time. And I have had little bits of that, but this…, it was seen that it was felt very deep.

And it is interesting how when sitting and shining that light, all these things try to come up; it’s like a show in your mind. It’s like ‘Oh, what about this recipe you want to try, or what about this’. Even all the beautiful things that people experience, whether it is colors or it is just distraction; because that mind doesn’t want you to see it. It just doesn’t. And it is comical. I was laughing (pffft). I was laughing. But this satsang of having the questions put to us has just been…, I can’t even put it into words.

A: I also feel that it has been very helpful. Very helpful.

Q:Thank you, thank you so much. And everybody for their honesty and just frankness, it is so beautiful. Thank you.

How to Experience What I Know Intellectually?

Q:At an intellectual level or a mental level, a lot of these things are clear to me, but the depth of understanding is not there.

A:We hear this often, that ‘It seems to be intellectual, but how do I experience this as my living truth?’

Q: Too many books have gone to the mind.

A:Too many books have gone to the mind. [Chuckles] Yes.

Q:The contents of my mind have increased; not the depth.

A:So, let’s start with that. Let’s not put it down. Let’s not say it’s a bad thing, to start with. Let’s start with that. So, tell me something which is just intellectual but it is not your experience yet.

Q: I try to carry the conviction that I’m neither the body nor the mind. I am Awareness.

A:Yes. So, this idea that ‘I am Awareness. I am not the body / mind’…, you feel it is just mental?

Q: Yes.

A:Okay. Are you aware now?

Q:Yes.

A:You are aware now. This answer is coming because you saw some visual of Awareness?

Q:No.

A:No. Did you see a thought of Awareness?

Q:No.

A: No. Then where did the ‘yes’ come from?

Q: From Awareness itself.

A: From Awareness. Is this mental?

Q: No.

A:No. Can it be this simple?

Q:But I get caught up.

A:‘Get caught up’ means what?

Q:Get distracted.

A:So, this Awareness that is here now, does something happen to that?

Q:No. Nothing happens to that. The mind interferes.

A: The mind interferes…

Q: Thoughts happen.

A: Thought happen. Then…?

Q: I get caught up with the thoughts.

A:How do you catch a thought? If a thought just repeats itself, is it enough to catch it? So, if the thought came that ‘He’s wearing a pink shirt’ and kept repeating, will be it caught?

Q:No, unconsciously I don’t pay attention to all the thoughts. There are some thoughts, some feelings of insecurity; those kind of things, they …

A:Sometimes, they get caught.

Q:Yes.

A:I have this old example, which is one of my favorites actually. I don’t know if you’ve heard it.

Now, suppose that our problem was the reverse. Our problem was that we have not suffered for a long time; we have not felt any suffering. We’re saying ‘I’m missing suffering’. Suppose we are saying ‘I’m missing suffering. How can I make myself suffer?’ Because if I ask you ‘Right now, in this moment, is there any suffering?’

Q: No.

A:You say ‘No’. Now, to get suffering, what do you have to do? Can you tell? Then I’ll tell my example.

Q:Listen to my thoughts; pay attention to the thoughts.

A:Okay, attention is going. Attention is enough?

Q:Not just attention. Too much of identification.

A:Identification. How do you identify with a thought?

Q: Because it starts.., I don’t know but something starts…

A: Because you believe it. You see?

So the example is this. If we want misery, we have an ATM: ‘Any Time Misery’ machine. We have this ‘Any Time Misery’ machine; which is what? The mind.

Now, if you want to withdraw misery from this ATM machine, first what do you have to do? Put the ‘Attention to Mind’ card: ATM card is ‘Attention to Mind’ card. You see?

But just putting the card in is not enough. It doesn’t give. You also have to put in your ‘Personal Identification’ Number: PIN. Which means what? Your belief.

So, if you go to this mind, give it your ‘Attention to Mind’ card and also put in your belief (Personal Identification) then unlimited amount of misery is available to you.

Now, how we then get rid of this suffering? Because we don’t want this misery actually. Then if it was that straight-forward, we would just say ‘Don’t give attention to the mind’. Problem finished.

But it doesn’t happen like that. Because the nature of attention is that it’s a naughty monkey. You say ‘Don’t go there’ and it goes there. I say ‘Don’t think of an orange’ and very quickly the mind will start giving you a visual of an orange. Isn’t it?

Q: Yes.

A: But I say ‘Don’t believe you’re an orange’…, easier, no? Easier to do?

A: Yes.

Q:So, we can start by working at the level of belief. So, simply, I say that ‘Just don’t believe your next thought. And then show me how you can suffer’.

Then what happens is that, in hearing this pointing itself, you see that a lot of the thoughts are allowed to come and go; just come and go. But some will still get you. Which are these ones that still get you? If I say ‘You are horrible at Olympic-level rifle shooting’…, does it bother you?

Q: No.

A:Doesn’t bother you. Why it doesn’t bother you? Because you’re not interested in that. There’s no identification with that. You see?

Q: Yes, yes.

A:But if I say ‘You’re hopeless at finding enlightenment. You will not find it!’ Then…? It bothers you, because there is an identity of being ‘A Spiritual Seeker’.

Q: Yes.

A:So, like this, when we know ‘Don’t believe our next thought’ but something still gets our belief; the random ones will mostly just go now, but these ones which still have our identity (it could be relationship, it could be security, it could be health of the body; these kind of identities) then what are we supposed to do?

When we spot that ‘This one still gets to me’ then we pull that into inquiry and say ‘Who is it? Who is this one?’ You see? So, what is one identity that still bothers you?

Q: I don’t understand.

A:Name one identity which still has some juice for you; some strength.

Q:Body identity.

A:Body. So, in this way we can check: Whose body is this? Who is the ‘me’ that owns this body? Many bodies I have experienced. Like we were talking about the dream state; also there is a body which seems to function, experiences pleasure and pain. So, this one: Who is the owner of this body?

You see, the body is just sitting quietly. It is not concerned about the body also. It is definitely not concerned about money in the bank account, not concerned about relationship; also not concerned about freedom. Poor innocent thing, it is just sitting here. [Laughter in the room] It gets a lot of blame actually in spirituality, which is unfair.

So, this body, who is the owner of this body? Can we find this one? The person, or the one who remains that owns this body; can we find this one?

Q: As of now, it’s the mind that owns this body. [Chuckles]

A:The mind is what? The mind is a bundle of thoughts, and similar energy like memory, imagination, like this. So, how can a thought, which is coming and going, own anything? [Pause]

You see? So, the thought came; it went. It’s no longer there to own this body. When a thought is there, we call that the mind. When a thought is not there, we call that the no-mind.

So, if the thoughts are going, mind and no-mind is going like this; then this coming and going, can it own even this bundle of atoms and molecules?

Q: No, no.

A:It cannot own them. You see? So, like this we have to deepen our inquiry and say ‘Who is this one?’ And then you find there is nobody like that. There is no separate, individual entity which is the owner of this body.

So, the first pointer is: To be free from your suffering right now, don’t believe your next thought. Those which still get your belief, you pull them into inquiry.

And the more you inquire into them, you will find that those identities become lighter and lighter. And yet, the spontaneity of our life will still flow. You see? Things will not stop. So, that is the first.

Then you might say…, (You’re here only for two days, so I want to give you all the main things that we speak about)…, then you might say ‘Okay, this is fine. But what about what I really want. I want God’. This is fine; suffering is gone. But what about God? (You can say like that.) ‘Can you show me God?’ is a very auspicious question. Even great sages like Swami Vivekananda have asked this question.

A simple way to find God is when I ask you the question ‘Can you stop being now?’

Can you stop being? You have to actually try. Don’t be.

Q: No.

A:You cannot stop being. So, this Being is what?

Q:Is God.

A:Is Consciousness, is God. You see? Your own Being is God-Presence. [I Am that I Am]

Then, you can come to this point. (I’m seeding all of this in you; it will unfold on its own.) And it’s completely fine at this point, with the realization of God-Presence, to just be at peace and be comfortable with the rest of our life. We don’t need to find anything else.

But some of you will come and say ‘But I sense that there is something else also. I sense that there is something which is even more absolute, higher’. And these words might sound blasphemous to some. But you might have this sense that there is something even higher than this God-Presence. ‘Can you show me that?’

So, this simple question: ‘Are you aware now?’ points you to this which is higher than even Presence. Because when you answer ‘Am I aware now?’ it is a very beautiful thing you are doing. Because for everything else, you’re checking something phenomenal.

Q: Yes.

A:Isn’t it? You’re saying ‘There’s a candle here’. If I ask you ‘Is there a candle here?’ you say ‘Yes’.

Q: Yes.

A: Is there a glass here? Checking. But for ‘Am I aware now?’ what is the phenomena you saw?

Q: Nothing.

A: Nothing. And yet you know it is true. If I say ‘You’re not aware’…, I have a lot of credibility with you, but you will fight with me also, saying ‘But I am aware! What do you mean I’m not aware?’ And I say ‘Show me’. You say ‘I can’t show you. But I know I’m aware’. You see? So, this awareness is the only…, (it’s not even an experience, but just to use language we can say) it is your only non-phenomenal experience; which is higher than even the experience of the Presence of God or Consciousness.

So, this is your discovery of your True Self. It is not coming and going, no matter which states come and go; waking, dream, sleep, turiya…, (you call it whatever state you want).

This One is the eternal witnessing of all of this that is coming and going. And it is available to you if you don’t give it to the mind too much but just keep it like pure and raw through the simple question ‘Am I aware now?’

Now, at this point (usually I don’t share so much in the first meeting, but it’s coming now so I will share) the mind can play one subtle trick at this point. It can say ‘Yes, yes. I find this Awareness, and actually to this Awareness nothing is happening, but what about MY life?’ It can play this subtle trick. ‘What about when I leave this satsang hall? When I’m in the day-to-day marketplace of my life, what happens?’

So, what is the mind subtly done? It has quickly come and created a dichotomy between this Awareness, which is Your True Self, and again this imagined ‘me’ has been allowed to take birth; because we believed that idea. So, to inoculate you from this idea, I have one more question for you, which will take you deeper than any phenomenal level, which is:

Who is aware of even this Awareness?

So, you say ‘Am I aware now?’ and you say ‘Yes’.

Now, who is aware even of this Awareness?

What is that?

Now, in this, the mind tricks will fail, because it cannot create that distinction between Awareness and a sense of a separate ‘me’. The sense of separation cannot really take hold if you contemplate this question.

Q: I see.

A:Then, what will happen, as you’ve gone through all of this; not believing the thoughts, exploring Your own Presence…, ‘Can I stop being now?’…, this Being that is here, then looking at who is aware of this Being…, ‘Am I aware now?’…, then you find, with a little bit of contemplation like this, all that you were calling intellectual knowledge is actually your direct living experience. It’s just these simple contemplations.

Now, when you look back at the knowledge you’ve picked up, you will be easily able to correlate. You pick up Ashtavakra Gita, you pick up Ribhu Gita; none of this will seem like it is just mental, because you’ll read a verse, you’ll check…, ‘Yes’. This inner tasting will happen of the Truth. And these words, which seemed so abstract and intellectual and mental, now will seem like your direct living experience. In this way, you will not feel like ‘My entire search has been just mental’.

Q:I’m very happy to meet you.

A:I’m also very happy you came.

Drop All Concepts and Ideas into the Satsang Fire

Let’s do one thing today. Usually I say ‘Don’t visualize anything’ but today let’s visualize that there’s this big, strong fire in front of us; that there’s this big fire, satsang fire, in front of us. And let’s sacrifice in this fire our favorite concepts, our beloved ideas, our biggest attachments…, and experience this burning fully.

Because the coming and going of appearances is independent of our ideas about it. And in this world of appearances, we call something ‘me’ or ‘mine’. That is what is causing the trouble. Nothing is ‘me’ or ‘mine’. We don’t even know who ‘me’ is me is, nor ‘mine, in the world of changing appearances. Whenever we call it ‘mine’ that means ‘I want it’. [Makes fists of holding on tightly] ‘It must stay here’. But nothing is constant in this ever-changing world of maya.

This is the root of trouble, when we say ‘I must have this’ or I resist and say ‘I must not have this’. Either way; it’s the same thing. Desire or aversion is a desire only (but we call it desire or aversion); the desire to have something or to not have something.

So, let’s all create this bonfire right now in satsang, and see if we can throw all our ideas into this fire. The ones cause that cause the most ‘ouch’. [Inaudible] Even the one that says ‘Everything is fine’…, [yet] ‘I’m willing to hand over everything to Existence. Take even those I don’t want to give up’. So, let’s do one internal audit like this, and we what we might still be refusing to give up.

What are we most fearful about losing?

[Silence]

Is that eternal?

That which we are most fearful about losing…, is it eternal?

[Silence]

No? Then it will be lost one day.

This body itself will cease to appear.

This realm itself will cease to appear.

And what about the objects in this realm?

How can they last forever?

What is it that we refuse to throw into the fire?

[Silence]

It could even be our ideas now. It could even be our idea that ‘I know something about the truth’. And this gives us a lot of trouble actually, the idea that we know something about the truth now. When suffering comes, it adds to the suffering because we say ‘But how could this still be happening to me? I’m supposed to be beyond this. I know so much’. You see? If any concept is like this, it just remains mental; then even these can be thrown away.

[Silence]

This throwing away is true openness.

All these thoughts and ideas will enter through the door and will automatically leave unless we hold something back with our belief.

And as you come to satsang, all your attachments are being pulled away. And that which we might be holding onto, when those are being pulled away then that can seem like the burning, you see, the hand is burning. It cannot be fully open and yet hold onto some concept. It cannot be fully open and suffer for any reasonable period of time. It can only seem momentary.

[Silence]

Q: Fear came of losing my children.

A: Then this fear goes into the fire. And now, let this go into the fire.

That’s what I said, that the idea we have about something doesn’t change the fact of whether that appearance will continue to appear or not.

This is the fear, isn’t it, that ‘If I throw away the idea, what if that stops appearing for me?’ But this play of Consciousness is independent of what we think about it.

Recognition is a Re-Cognition

It is called ‘recognition’ which means it is a ‘re-cognition’. So it is already here, it is already cognized. Only seems to be forgotten. That’s why we are re-cognizing it. So, as we are re- cognizing it, that this has already been Seen; this has been our truest Seeing anyway.

So, then what happens (like you said) is that the only thing that seems to get in the way is a fear of this dying; this fear of the separation dying actually. Because we have felt like we are this separate entity and all our identity/conditioning has been about this separate entity. So, when it feels like this will dissolve, it can feel like ‘I don’t want to die’.

So, all of our resistance in satsang (it can sound very trivial, but) it’s coming from this fear of death. And as we become open to this dissolution, then you feel that nothing real will die. Only the false is burning and dying. In fact, it is this same fear of death as each of us knowing that ‘It is not helpful for me to believe my thoughts’. It is this very fear of death that comes as this urge to hide behind the concepts which the mind is selling.

We all know now that it is not helpful. And yet many times we do it. Why? Because just this emptiness, this openness feels like it is too raw; it’s too open. And it feels like death is coming, so we want to rush to the thought, somewhere knowing that this is escapism but justifying itself, hiding behind even our spirituality.

All of us are now recognizing the truth of who we are. But it is this conditioning of separation, this conditioning of preservation of this separate identity which will come up as these ideas in our mind. It could be the most innocent sounding idea. It could say ‘But this is too difficult for me yet. I’m just getting started’. It could even be ‘I know all of this. I know all of this. Oh, I know all of this. There is no big deal in this. I know this’. It could be like that. It could be saying ‘No, no, I don’t have that; he’s not talking about me’. It could be like that. You see? All our avoidance; all our escapes.

Look As Awareness Rather Than Trying To Remove Ego

Q:There’s been a lot of restlessness while I’ve been at home; like restlessness to just sit and ‘be’ without, say, a satsang on in the background or music on in the background. There’s a real kind of resistance to just sit and be quiet with myself.

A:There’s a resistance to do that? And then when you attempt to do it, what happens? It feels like you have like a lot of energetic restlessness?

Q:Yes, and the thoughts will come and then there will be an Awareness of the thought, but they will keep coming, and one will get picked up; and then it’s like I’m off with the thought-stream.

A: And how is it in satsang?

Q:Well, it’s different because yesterday was just completely like ‘wipe out’. And then I went back home and I spent quite a lot of time just sorting out the hangout and things like that so there was a lot of mind activity going on. And then I woke up this morning and I was just like…, just this restless energy of wanting to move, wanting to do. It was like a moving of energy rather than the space that I know I am, so it feels like identity is being bought again.

A:Yes. The first thing that you have to do before it becomes infectious, is give me this ‘checker guy’…, [Chuckles] the one who’s keeping track of the state.

Q:But it’s not a state, it’s not a state. It’s a clear knowing of when I’m seeing from the Truth, compared to before when I was like ‘It’s all about the love, it’s all about the bliss’. But that’s even seen now as ‘It’s not that, it’s not that’.

A: Very good.

Q:I know when I’m operating from this personal identity now and there’s a resistance to drop it. [Silence] Like now I know I’m identified, I know that there’s identity playing and there’s just kind of this nervousness about dropping it by myself, without you. It’s like can you hold my hand and just help me drop it. [Laughs]

A:[Laughs] The identity actually is always measly compared to the reality of what you are. So even the statement that ‘I know that identity is playing’…, it is that Knowing that is much larger than this play of identity. So you don’t have to feed it with too much concern as to ‘Why is this happening?’ It’s very light.

Sometimes it can be that some conditioning is playing out and the best thing to do about that is just laugh at it. If you make it serious and say ‘Oh, these days it seems like it’s not being dropped

so easily’. You see? That’s just adding to it. We just, we look at it and we say ‘Oh, this ‘person’ seems to get some belief, but what is it really?’ It’s just laughable, is it not?

Q:Yes, like when you’re believing your thoughts it’s one thing, but then the feelings are another thing; and if I’m not buying the thoughts then the feelings are there to be bought.

A:Yes, but we are not to resist the feeling in anyway. What can be bought is only the interpretation of the feeling.

Q: Yep, yep.

A:So there is no buying or selling happening; just the attention can go to the feeling or the attention can be pulled back from it. And I have never suggested that we forcefully try and pull our attention away from the feelings. So if it gets our attention, it’s okay to ‘be with that’. Without buying the interpretation of it, it doesn’t really get nourished.

Q:It’s just a recognition that I’m not the feelings, and then it’s just (not even a movement, it’s just) a seeing that I’m not thoughts, I’m not the feelings.

A: Yes.

Q: And then even if they persist, that’s okay as well.

A:The force of this can be so strong, it can seem like a tsunami. So, in that, the best among us sometimes can momentarily get lost in that. But the point is not about what happened then because that is gone. It is always just about the right now. And that is why we have this kind of sanctuary from Monday to Friday, that no matter what might be happening in the seeming day- to-day life, at least for one hour, two hours, if you can come here; and now it’s clearing up. And if something comes, afterward we can come up and we talk. Then it seems to get lighter.

As this sanctuary is available every day, then the thing of all of this past conditioning…, some days it can seem like we get more, some days it seems very light; we can gently allow that to happen. As long as we are coming to satsang, these releases [just come and go]. Like I was telling her ‘Don’t even worry about it. It came and it went, it came and it went’.

Q:I think it’s because there’s been these big openings and ‘Seeings’ in the past and then identity has slowly crept back in.

A: Yes.

Q:And there is this fear of that happening; so I just wanted to bring it to you.

A:So, let that one be my problem.

Q: Yeah.

A:We won’t let it grow. It will either be whacked or dissolved (whatever way it is going to happen) if it tries to come back…, as long as we’re here.

Q: Can I just check as well…?

A: Yes.

Q:So, this identity…, (or, I don’t even know)…, this feeling of being the character right now; I feel like I’m the character…,

A: Okay. [Inaudible]

Q:But there’s awareness of that feeling. But if I try and get to something else, that seems ridiculous. So it’s just like…, let this character play with these emotions, feelings and thoughts but know that I’m not that. That’s the checker guy checking. [Laughs]

A:Yes. To see that ‘Yes, no matter what in this play might be happening, That-which-is-Aware of the play remains untouched and unmoved by it’. It’s a beautiful checking. Now, if it seems like the character still has some choice, (if it feels like it wants to do something to be rid of itself in some way) then just make the choice not to buy into your next thought. That’s all that is needed to be done.

And if it feels like there is no choice, then just enjoy the show.

Either it can feel like there is a choice or it can feel like there is no choice at all.

If it feels like there is a choice then make a choice not to believe your next thought. If it feels like there is no choice then, nothing; enjoy the show. [Chuckles]

Q:I think it’s like these feelings that come up in the body, they’re so familiar to a person feeling them that there is like this pull to feel like ‘It’s happening to a ‘me’. But actually these feelings are…, they’re just happening.

A:They’re just happening.

Q:Yeah, okay.

A:Just appearing and disappearing.

The Sage Laughs at Thoughts He Once Took Seriously

This is what Bhagavan [Ramana Maharshi] was implying when he said that there are only two things we can do. Either we inquire or we surrender. We speak a lot about the inquiry but what is this surrender?

Surrender just means just enjoy the show knowing that it is all God’s problem. Allowing it to happen, exactly. And it is not either/or.

At some moment it may seem like you want to inquire a lot: Who am I?

Really, really, who am I?

I cannot be this thought appearing to me,

I cannot be this emotion because it is also an appearance coming and going. I am not coming and going.

Who am I?

There is a Presence felt here which is a sense that I exist. But who is aware even of this?

Is it not I? Who am I?

We see that we are this pure witnessing and no appearance touches us.

Then what happens? Then we become open to anything coming and going. And the second is, we just give up. [sighs] ‘I really can’t do this. I just give up. It is all my Father’s problem or God’s problem’.

Then what happens? Same. Openeness. Then openness happens. Then these things they lose their [power]. Because leg of doership is one of the strongest legs, maybe the strongest leg of the ego, and when we drop this doership and just allow ‘Okay, I can’t do this anymore’. Means what? I am no longer the doer. ‘Whatever force that is running this life, let it take care of life’.

Then as doership starts to dissolve, then sense of separate identity also can not last too long. ‘What do I do? What do I do? What do I do next? What did I do? I should not have done that’. This doing, doing, doing is a lot of identity; is the core of the identity.

‘What’s in it for me?’ You see. Many times this question comes ‘What changes after liberation or freedom?’ The simplest thing that happens is that we don’t walk into every situation chanting the mantra ‘What is in it for me? What’s in it for me? What’s in it for me?’ It is just a simple allowing of everything to come and go. So this ‘D’ (the ‘desire-D’) becomes a lot milder. The second ‘D’ doership ‘What should I do, what should I do?’ also starts to dissolve a lot. So this desire and doership dissolve. [The two D’s: Desire and Doership which Anantaji says are the two

legs of the ego identity] And then we come into every situation without the blinkers ‘What’s in it for me?’ but with just a universal openness with whatever is.

Then it becomes lighter. Then we don’t feel like we are so much in a rush. We’re not like ‘Okay, what am I extracting from this situation?’ You see? This one actually is one of the traits of a spiritual seeker also. It is a very strong identity; running from place to place ‘What’s in it for me? What can I get from him? What can I get from him?’ Like that. Then we start enjoying this seeker identity also. Then in our mind we have like report cards, ‘We went to…, yes, yes, I got this from there. Yeah, I got this from there’.

What is that ‘I’ that is getting something from somewhere? That is the seeker identity, the spiritual identity, which even must be looked at:

What am I really?

What is it that I really want?

Is my own Presence not here?

And if my Presence is here,

Is there anything outside of this Presence that I can ever have?

As you start seeing this Presence to be Consciousness, God itself is available for you. Then this sense of ‘What do I need? What should I get? What am I finding here or there’…, that goes. We get so much satisfaction, contentment. Then you find that those things we were chasing (love peace, all of this) you see that we’ve have had it upside down. We are not to chase them, they are in service to Us; not us personally, to God-Presence which is your own Presence.

Then if you put the person hat on, then we can keep running on this treadmill for the rest of our life. But it will always seem like ‘Almost there, almost there, almost got it’. And we might have ideas like ‘Okay, somebody has to push me off the cliff or somebody has to give me an awakening experience’ or something like this. We keep running on this never-ending treadmill.

As we find there is nothing beyond this which is already here, which I can never ‘get’ then we see that there is no lack, there is nothing missing. I don’t want anything for ‘me’ anymore.

Take the example of the cat. Have you heard this from me? Cat. No? Suppose you were born into a world where there were no mirrors so you could not check really who you are; but everybody started telling you that ‘You are a cat’. Your own thoughts are saying ‘You are a cat’. Everything is saying ‘I am a cat’. And as the job of a cat, your only job is to get the next bowl of milk. So it is been said that ‘This is your job now, the next bowl of milk. First study well, get good marks. That is the first bowl of milk, so we chase that, chase that, get that bowl of milk. But has it given us the eternal happiness and contentment we wanted? No.

Then we say ‘Okay, not with this, but with the next bowl of milk (‘Get a good job’) then you can be happy for the rest of your life’. Everybody has been told this. ‘Just get a good job and then you will be fine’. But you get that bowl of milk. There is contentment, momentary, maybe, once

in a while. ‘Okay, you say, okay, okay, but still something is missing. Your next bowl of milk is get the perfect relationship. Get the partner. He or she will complete you’. So you chase that bowl of milk. So much, so much, so much, so much drama about relationship. So we get to that relationship. For a while, it seems like ‘Wow, very nice’. And then? ‘If only she was like this a little more’ or ‘If only he was like this little more’. We have enjoyed the differences before we were together; so attractive. And once we are together, then it’s ‘Oh, why couldn’t she be more like me?’ or ‘Why couldn’t he be more like me?’ So we want to change the same differences which were attractive. So this also didn’t work as the next bowl of milk. Then we say ‘Money’. You see? You’re getting the point. All these bowls of milk have been defined.

So then somebody comes and says to you ‘No, no, no. You have been chasing the wrong things. There is no happiness in this. Liberation! Moksha! This is the bowl of milk which will not run out. It is your amrit, your never-ending amrit. [Divine nectar]. You are like ‘This is huge! I will never out. I will be in bliss’. But you are still chasing like the cat, chasing the ultimate bowl of freedom.

Then one day you go to a true sage. Now a true sage will tell you ‘Actually, sorry to break it to you, but I don’t have any such bowl of milk. But what I do have is a mirror. Are you willing to look?’ Then, if there is openness (this is what it means by openness) if there is openness to not be a cat; if you are open to the idea that you are not a person at all, then you can see this mirror. And you will find that what is reflecting is not a cat. So when that happens (that there is no cat) then what do you find? There is no person here. But what is here that is undeniable? The sense that ‘I Am’…, that I exist.

So this ‘I Am’ (although it seems very simple when I ask you): ‘Can you stop being now?’ [You say] ‘No, of course not. What kind of question is that? I am being, being is here’.

This is your introduction to your own atma. This atma. It is the same ‘I Am-ness’. And it means also the same; this sense of existence, Beinginess, existence, Consciousness. You find ‘This is here, and I am aware even of this’. But this one that is aware even of this…, is not a body, is not a thought, is not an emotion. It is something even prior to this sense of being.

So, what is this ‘I’ that is aware of this?

Is it a thing?

It is some empty dark space?

Is it a bright light?

You find out that it is none of these. Because even if it was this, I’d be aware of that! You see? Many times our mind will visualize things and give them to us as solutions. [The thought] ‘Awareness’…, then mind will start visualizing big dark space or something like this. But who is aware even of that? Can we say something about that? We cannot.

That is why it is impossible to mentally grasp this and yet you know it is true. That’s why when we say: ‘Are you aware now?’ then we say ‘Yes’. That means we are aware of our Awareness.

We just don’t have the words to define it or describe it. That’s why you feel like ‘I still haven’t found the Self’ because our idea has been that ‘Once I know a concept of something, only then do I know it’. You see. Like in school, you study; you learn ten concepts ‘The world is round, it goes around the sun, gravity works like this’.., all this. And you feel like I know something about the world. You really don’t. We just know some concepts about the world now.

But this Self is also like this. We can have some concepts about it but that is not the true Knowing. But this true Knowing is possible and it is available, even through a simple question like this: Are you aware now?

To the mind it is a supremely unsatisfactory. ‘Nothing happened. Where is the halo? Where is the bliss, I was promised bliss. Where is any of this?’ But this is the magnificence of this; that I am able to say that ‘I am aware’ without a phenomenal experience of this. And you find that this ‘I’ that is aware it must be this Awareness Itself. Because it is aware of Itself without any visualization, without any conceptualization, without any interpretation. And you find that this discovery is the re-cognition of the Self. It is not that it is something new. It is a re-cognition (recognition).

Just to come to this recognition is very beautiful, even in our phenomenal day-to-day to life. Why? Because when this thought comes and says ‘Oh, this one doesn’t like me so much’ the belief is not so much on that but on recognizing ourselves to be this Awareness. You see? So we switch our idea about ourself, going from ‘I am this person, I am this identity, I am like this and like this’ and we just throw all of this away and we have no idea now about who we are, then when things come as triggers for us in the world, then we feel like somebody is attacking space; like somebody is taking a sword and trying to cut space. We will just laugh at it. But if you imagine ‘yourself’ to be in there, then you will feel like I am being attacked, I am being cut, I am being hurt.

That is why this recognition is very beautiful and it makes what our mind is saying laughable actually. So, I often say this tormentor (which seems like a tormentor) then becomes like a stand up comedian which is available to us for free; no ticket also needed. This is the primary difference between a sage and a so-called normal layman. The sage is enjoying this comedy in the head. That is why they are always smiling and laughing because they are enjoying this comedy that the mind is giving them, and the layman is taking it so seriously and saying [Stern face] ‘Yeah, yeah’.

So, not believing our thoughts, recognition of who we are. All of these are correlated and inter- related.

Facing the Fear and Saying ‘I’m Not Interested Anymore’

A:Don’t fear the fear. Let it just come. I am always with you. Nothing can happen to you. What is the worse case scenario of what can happen to us?

Q:Feeling like there are no legs to stand on or something like that.

A:So fly then. [Laughter]

Like I was saying yesterday, in The Course in Miracles it is said very beautifully: Nothing real can be threatened.

Nothing unreal exists. Herein lies the peace of God.

So, if nothing real can be threatened, and nothing unreal exists anyway, then what is the worst case scenario for us? Either ‘I am real’ or ‘I am unreal’. If I am real, I cannot be threatened. If I am unreal, then I don’t exist at all. Either way, there is no trouble.

Q: Something is just trying to hold something, to hide. I don’t know, just…

A: The mind can desperately grasp for straws now, you see.

Q:That is what is seeming to happen, Father. It is like something looking for some place to…, some excuse not to fly, kind of thing.

A: Yes. Exactly.

Q: That’s what it is.

A: In satsang, we take away all your excuses to not being free. You have no excuse actually.

You have looked at every aspect of even this human existence and taken away all your excuses. That is why it is important to look at all these things that we look at, because in these things subtly some excuses can hide. But as you shine your light on all of these things, you will find that ‘I cannot be bound. Bondage is not even a concept that can apply to me’. Not even ‘I am that space in which this space is arising and this space can’t be bound’. How can That in which this space is arising, be bound? Impossible.

It is even more than to say that ‘Oh, I had a dream last night and in that, the character was bound up, so now I am feeling constricted’. It is a ludicrous example, but the unreality of bondage is even more ludicrous than this example. Who has been able to bind Awareness?

Don’t fear the dissolution of the identity. You will not lose anything at all. The whole universe is Yours, unless you pretend to be a person.

Q:[Silence] There still seems to be some…, [sighs] just that something that is trying, that is looking to hold on to something really desperately, Father. And also I know there is nothing for me to do; there is nothing to be done. Just I don’t know what to do, Father. Deal with it, please.

A: Yes, it is this…, it’s like the remnant of withdrawal symptoms.

Q: Yes, Father.

A:You are so addicted to the person-identity that although it is seen that this addiction has given nothing but suffering, something was still so habituated to it that just out of habit it goes back to that. So, this will settle more and more.

And just to see this urge, actually, is very auspicious. Because most of humanity, we spend our lives and we don’t see this urge to pick up an idea, to pick up something to make me feel like ‘I am a person’. [To see this urge] is its dissolution.

And what is the approach that we must have towards this? It must not be that ‘Oh, please go away. Please don’t…., I don’t want you anymore’. Not like this fear. It must be more facing it

head on saying ‘Okay, what is it that you want? What are you trying to sell to me?’ And to look at it straight up and say ‘I am not interested anymore’.

Q:[Laughter and tears] [Deep sighs] Father, good save.

A:[Laughter & face of love]

Fear of Losing Beingness When the Body Dies

Q:I need some help. I don´t know if it is enough to just speak it out, but at least I want to lay this at your feet. It´s about the fear of losing the body. For quite some time, again and again, intense bodily sensations are going on and then this fear comes up; which is actually here also the whole time so it´s still very fresh. That is what I wanted to come up with this; to use it.

I was looking at it but somehow I feel I am stuck in something. I don´t really know if that is true. It is somehow about the idea of death. And this fear is somehow already the death. It is the death; and again this causes fear. I don´t know how to explain it. It goes in circles. It goes on and on and on. It is just always only (at least how it goes on here) the fear of death; the fear of ‘Now I am losing this body. Now the body is going’. This is the losing of the body or something. [Laughing]

A: [Laughing] So, only in Satsang do we talk about death and laugh at the same time.

Q:What also is very clear is, that without the idea that ‘This is my body’ this cannot be there. This really seems to be the ultimate thing here. It´s always about this topic here. It comes always to this point. And at times there is just no space. Maybe you have a question for me?

A:Yes, yes. I was just going to ask you a question. What is the function of this body?

Q:[Laughs] I don´t know. Does it has a function?

A:Okay. Let´s start with that question. [Laughing]

Q:Not really. No, it has no function. There is no function. [Laughing]

A:So, if it has no function, then what will we lose, if we lose this body?

Q:[Laughing] Nothing. What is happening here, it is just is an energetic resistance. I don´t know what I am saying but….

A:Let´s look at it another way also. There is no body, which is ever been born without at least two of the senses functioning. (I don´t know whether this is true scientifically. My feeling is that it is true.) So, if you were to say that [there is] something called ‘function’…[Inaudible] Suppose phenomenally speaking, if there is something called ‘function’, then the function of this body is to have this sensory experience of the world.

Q. Yes.

A:When we are saying that we don´t want to lose this body, there must be this fear that along with the going of this body will go the sensory experience of this world. Because if there was no sensory experience of the world at all, then we would not feel like this body is here in the first place. Yes?

Q: Yes, and there is an attachment to that.

A. Yes, yes. Okay, so this is what we should look at. So, there must be an attachment to this sensory experiencing, which then translates into the love for the body or the attachment to the body. And yet, every night we have had enough of this experiencing, you see. And we want ‘this’ and we get more concerned about ‘that’ so we experience every day that there is a certain limit to all forms of sensory experience. Even the best ones. That´s why Papaji had this very beautiful example where he said that you could be on your wedding night in the arms of your beloved, but if you have had enough of experiencing then even then you will say ‘Okay, leave me alone. I am going to sleep’. So, there are limits to all sensory experiences.

As long as there is an urge within Consciousness to experience itself in a sensory way, they will be available to us. We are experiencing so many different realms; it creates dreams, it creates all these realms so that it can experience itself in those ways; experience all that sensory experience. So Consciousness is unlimited. We don´t have to worry. If the urge is there in Consciousness to experience in a sensory way, it will create a body for itself.

So, it´s really not a concern for our mind because the mind cannot even create sleep, or the mind cannot even wake up. And when the urge for sensory experience dissolves, then this appearance of this body dissolves. And at that point we don´t really know; maybe all of this day is just a dream, the experience we have like this together. We don´t really know these things. We just presume that ‘Okay, I am going to wake up tomorrow morning’. Maybe actually there is some other realm of time in which we experience a trillion years between going to sleep tonight and waking up tomorrow. We don´t know these things. Maybe we never experience this body again. Maybe it is just here in this instant. The mind cannot grapple with these topics at all.

Q:No. But, Father, what is coming up here now is…, the sense of Being will also be gone when the body is gone. Or not?

A:It is usually found that when the sense of Being appears, then the sense of body also appears; this appearance of the body also appears…, most often, I say…, because many have had experiences of ‘out of body’ experiences or other ‘astral travel’ type experiences where they do not have the sense of physical body. Some experiences like this have happened here also, where it felt like, eyes were closed, and I was sitting somewhere and it felt like without this physical body I was able to travel to any part of the universe. And the appearance became that the entire universe became just a flickering light in front of me.

I am not trying to give any specialness to these appearances because they were also just appearances after all. But what I am saying is, there can be the experience of Beingness without it necessarily being attached to the physical body. But mostly it is found that as Being appears, also this sense of body appears.

That which is concerned about the loss of Being Itself is which one?

Q: [Laughing]

It is the same one that resists that Being. You see? The same one that is resisting God is saying ‘God should not go away’.

Q:[Laughing] All just presumed. I can just see all the presuming, of how it would be or … This is the persistent thought, which is coming now, which I can now see that: When this body dies, this Being will also be gone. Or Beingness is not possible without this body. And there is the attachment.

A:And yet this same Beingness also dissolves every night along with this entire realm of appearances. Who is controlling the arising and dissolution of this Being? It is beyond anything that can be fathomed on this realm at all, because this realm is only God’s Presence. You see? At least what I can tell you for sure is that when this Being dissolves the concern about the dissolution of the Being will definitely not be there. Because that concern is only an appearance in the light of the Being itself.

Q:Yes, right. The same as this fear of everything that is going on…, it is actually nothing. It is really nothing; it’s really nothing. I don’t know. I cannot even say that it is energy anymore, some kind of energy anymore, so it is really nothing.

A:That´s why it is very beautiful what happened to Bhagavan [Ramana Maharshi] as a young child. He feels that ‘I am dying, I am dying’ and then what happened? Some grace happened for him, where he said ‘Okay, now I want to see clearly what happens when you die’. So he just lay down, and said ‘Okay, I am going to die. Let me see what happens’. And what died? Just the sense of the separation, the sense of the identity; that died.

It´s beautiful. It´s a beautiful sharing.

Q:Thank you for reminding me of this story; great. Thank you. Thank you so much!

A:Thank you. Very good.

Nothing Can Touch This ‘I’ So Nothing Can Threaten It

A: When we say ‘I Am’ what do we really mean?

Q:For me it has been the Being (is what it feels like) because when I contemplate (and I don’t contemplate very much because it is just very difficult for me for some reason. I have a tendency to just surrender right away) but it seems clear. And that’s why I wanted to come, because I want to make sure that my understanding isn’t just intellectual; that it’s really what I’m seeing. And I do see that ‘I Am’ is the Being that is the dynamic aspect of Awareness. And that was so strong today when I kept thinking, kept waiting, for something different to happen within the expression here. And little things have happened but not what I expected. And it dawned on me today that maybe Awareness…, maybe this is the expression of Awareness and I think it’s supposed to be different because it feels so familiar. You know? Am I confusing? Because when you say ‘Be yourself’ when I’m exactly, completely comfortable with myself and I feel everything, you know…, there is complete, total relaxation with whatever is going on, that that should be my true

Being right there. Right?

A:It’s very good. Very good. I feel to say to all of you also that there is nobody who does not know the truth. There is no body that doesn’t truly know the truth. Because this knowing is not coming and going. This is constant.

What is happening is that our concepts and ideas about what we know and what we have known have made us feel that we don’t know the truth…, because we know these concepts. But actually in reality, the knowing of concepts are un-know-able unless you were to first know yourself. Because who is that who knows a concept? The non-existent one cannot know anything at all. It is only that conceptual knowing is not the primal truth that we are speaking about. It might be true at some conceptual level. So, in this very ‘I Am’…, the knowing that ‘I exist’ must be present. Isn’t it? Because this truth is not just conceptual. Concept means ‘that which can argued with’ and based on who has the stronger argument, the concept can change. But there is nobody that cannot say that truth is not true; because it is experienced clearly here.

On the weekend some of you have been messaging me and we have been chatting about ‘There is a sense that ‘I don’t know anything at all’. Even in this ‘not knowing anything at all’ are any of you able to deny your existence? Who doesn’t know that they exist?

So whether something else is known or not, whether there is something mental or not, can we really say that ‘I don’t know what whether I exist or not’? We might say ‘I don’t know whether I exist as something’ or ‘What it is that exists? I don’t know’. We can say these kind of things but to say ‘I’m not sure whether I exist’ itself must happen within your existence. Isn’t it? If you don’t exist, then even that reporting cannot happen.

Q: [Inaudible question from sangha present in the room]

A:That is why I’m saying, same. He says ‘Isn’t this sense of existence the same as the dream character has, that it exists?’ I said ‘Yes, it is exactly the same’. Then he says ‘Isn’t that an illusion?’ and I say ‘Yes, it is exactly the same’.

Q: [Inaudible question from sangha present in the room]

A:Yes, that is what Bhagavan [Ramana Maharshi] said, that in this realm, the best we can say is that ‘I Am’ but ultimately, even that is not true. This is exactly what you are reporting. But in this realm, now, as what can you say ‘I am not’? You see? From which perspective, from which position, can we say ‘I am not’?

From which position can we deny even existence? [Laughs] Then, that knowing of existence itself, from that position, if something could be reported, we’d be able to report that ‘Yes, this Knowingness is untouched even by our existence’.

That is why we use two words: ‘I’ and ‘Am’. Why do we say ‘I Am’? Why does Beingness mean ‘I Am’? When we speak of most things, we are just those things. (How many are with me?) When we say ‘glass’ we don’t say I ‘glassiness’. No, it is just a glass. When we say ‘Being’ then why do we say ‘I Am’? When we say ‘table’ we don’t say ‘I-table’. But why does ‘Being’ translate into to ‘I Am’?

It’s good now to look like this? What is it that ‘I’ is now added with this attribute ‘Am’? Who is this ‘I’ that has now added this ‘Am-ness’ to it? You see? And who doesn’t know this? Everyone knows this. You see. Even now, for many, the mind might be coming and saying ‘Oh, this has become too abstract; right in the beginning of the week. It is too tough. I’m not getting any of this’. It’s not true! Yes, the mind may not be getting any of this (which is completely fine) but You, the ‘I Am’… You might even say ‘I am here’. To be able to say ‘I am here’ first you have to say ‘I Am’.

So, we are just talking kindergarten stuff actually. Very, very simple. And it may be completely confusing. [Chuckles] But just try to stay with the simplicity of it and don’t try to understand it too much. All of you are able to say ‘I am here’. Nobody says ‘I am not here’. Even if you say ‘I am not here’ you know in your heart that something isn’t right about those words. Something will have to work really hard to say those words. But you are able to say (here in satsang or in our day-to-day life) ‘I am here’.

Okay, ‘here’…, let’s leave that. What is this ‘I Am’?

We say ‘It is Beingness’. But why does this Beingness translate to ‘I Am’? Why not like any other object (like table, computer, chair)? When it is a chair, we don’t say ‘I-chair’ or we don’t say ‘I-computer’. (Ultimately maybe we will get there.) [Chuckles]

Right now: what is this ‘I’ which has this attribute ‘Am’?

[Original] Q: Can I answer that?

A: Yes, my dear. It’s for you.

Q:It feels like it is Awareness announcing itself. Because when I contemplate on Awareness, there is just silence.

A: Yes. So what are you saying? Are you saying this ‘I’ is Awareness?

Q: Yes.

A: The ‘I’ is Awareness. How is this known?

Q:There is no other answer that I can find. When I follow the pointings, when I contemplate, it all leads back to the same thing. It’s the only answer. There is no other answer. I think what gets confusing…, oh, go ahead, I don’t want to interrupt you.

A:So this ‘I’, does it ever change?

Q:No.

A:Is it ever that at one moment it is something else which is ‘Am’ and the next moment it is something else? So, one moment there was void which is now ‘Am’. The next moment there is a white light which is now ‘Am’. And the next moment there is (whatever you might want to put over there) which becomes ‘Am. Is this a changing ‘I’? Is there a change happening at that level?

Q:(I didn’t quite understand that pointing, but) … It doesn’t change.

A:Doesn’t change.

Q:I can fool myself and get it back into the person role; take things personally and forget. But it doesn’t change. That’s just life.

A:So this ‘I Am’ (I’m saying) doesn’t change, but the attributes after ‘I Am’ like ‘I am this or I am that’ is constantly changing. So, when we say that ‘Change is happening at a personal level’ it must mean that it must be happening after the ‘I Am’. Isn’t it?

Q: Yes.

A:Again, it is a subtle point, so that’s I want to repeat again for all of you. When we say ‘I Am’…, ‘I Am’ which is ‘Am-ing’…, is this ‘I’ changing?

So this ‘I’ that we are referring to, is that changing in anyway? Do we signify different things when we say ‘I Am’?

Could we sometimes be signifying the sense of a void; sometimes the sense of some light, of a body, which is ‘I Am’? Irrespective of any other state (this that we are referring to as ‘I Am’)…, firstly, this ‘I’ that we are referring to, this ‘Am-ing’ (as I say)…, this remains constant. Yes? See this? [Q: Nods Yes] Yes, yes, so the next step is what? So, if this ‘I’ is unchanging, is this ‘I’ that is changing, is this ‘Am’ also Awareness? This sense of ‘Am-ness’? Is it as constant as the ‘I’? The ‘Am’. What do you feel? The question is this: Is this ‘Am-ness’ as changeless as ‘I’ itself?

If it was, then why don’t we just call it ‘I’? Why do we say ‘I Am’? If it was just the same as ‘I’ (changeless) then what would be the distinction? There would be none.

So, you see that this sense ‘I Am’ is not present in [deep] sleep state. It is present in waking, it is present in dream. So we cannot say ‘Being was there’. And yet we cannot say ‘I was not there’. Because ‘I’ was there to see this. But this whole Being was not present.

That which is aware of Being was present. But this ‘I’ (which is aware of the presence or absence of the sense of existence) that remained constant, unchanging. Then we see that this ‘I’ is the ultimate truth.

The light of this waking state, this light of this universe or this realm is Seen, therefore it is an object within this realm. ‘Am’ or Consciousness is coming and going. It is timeless from this perspective as an object within the realm. That aspect of that reality of what we are, even that can go.

Therefore, if there are times where only ‘I’ remains, what can this am be made of? If we have experienced times where only ‘I’ remains, where only this Awareness remains…., therefore this

Beingness must be made of what?

Even if it was just a thought (which we will look at) even that must be made of what? Because if only ‘I’ remains, then anything that comes after that must be made of what? This ‘I’ only. Isn’t it?

If there is water in everything (whether ice, or evaporated water, or water itself) it would be made up of water. So, if it is clear that this ‘I’ remains (in that only this is there) then this Being must also be this. As a form of this; just a different qualitative feel of this.

This is the integration of the ‘I Am’. Yet that it is clear that there is a qualitative difference; this I-Awareness which is now appearing in the form of Beingness, ‘I Am’.

This is the substratum for all phenomenal experience. You cannot have an experience without the sense of Being.

Now, when this Being gets together with the power which comes, called attention, then all these objects in the phenomenal realm (whether seemingly- inward or seemingly-outward) seem to appear and disappear.

Did anything change for this ‘I’ with the appearance or disappearance of the phenomenal realm?

[Original] Q: No

A: Doesn’t change. If this is ‘I’…

Q:That is how I knew this; that is ‘I-Itself’ because it doesn’t change. When I let go of everything, completely let go of everything, only thing left is ‘I’.

A:Very good. Therefore also, conversely, when so many things come in our life, so many events happen in this phenomenal experiencing, what happened to this ‘I’?

So you say ‘When I let go of everything, then this ‘I’ remains’. Isn’t it? Now, conversely, things seem to come. Even if they are believed…, even if they are believed to be true, does anything happen to this ‘I’?

Q: No.

A: Nothing happens.

Q: But I can think that something has happened to it. But that is not true.

A:Yes. So, this distinction is very important for us to see; that even when we think something happened to me or even when we believe something happened to me, we are not referring to the true ‘I’ then.

Q: Right.

A:Very good. Who here doesn’t see this? [Silence] (Not saying something because of saying peer pressure?) [Laughter]

This, if you see this, then you see that in reality you cannot suffer; have never suffered. So therefore those words ‘Nothing real can be threatened’ is now becoming your direct experience. Because if nothing happened to this ‘I’…, threat is far beyond something happening. If nothing can touch this ‘I’ then nothing can threaten it.

Whatever the Content, This Being is Unchanging

Q:Logically, step by step, it makes sense, but the day to day experience is so strong. It seems that (the experience) is also part of ‘I’. It seems that (experience) is also part of ‘I’. So when I try to say ‘I Am’ it seems like it is pretty much the same as the experience that is being registered.

A: This ‘I Am’ when I ask you the question, Can you stop being?

Q: No.

A:Cannot stop. Now, whatever be the content of experience, does this sense of being change?

Q:[Inaudible]

A:So this being is unchanging. Something appears. Let’s take an example [chuckles]. Let’s say that a crazy woman comes here now, and she starts breaking some things, will it really affect you?

Q: It would affect from an external sense, yes.

A:From this external sense. But if [questioner’s wife] started behaving like that? [Everyone laughs] and she started saying some crazy things like ‘I don’t know who you are! You go home!’

(Something, something) will it affect you?

Q: Now I have to think! [Everyone laughs]

A:You see? There is a distinction in these two things, isn’t it? Why? Because [inaudible]. This woman sitting in front of you is an appearance, and the other woman sitting would be an appearance, then why is that when something like that happens with one particular appearance, it has more impact than when something happens with another appearance? They are not sending any light waves, which are different, like that [Gestures with hands]. Why is it that this distinction is there in the realm of appearances? Because you said very rightly, that, in the sense of Being nothing is changing, some appearances are coming and going, but they are just appearances. Now why is it that some seem light?

Q: I would [Inaudible] that the experience involved with that appearance is different?

A: ‘Experience involved’ means what?

Q:Well say for example the experience I have with her is different from the experience I have with someone else. And that is true for any other appearance.

A: Yes, but what do you mean by experience?

Q: Just the perception of interactions (this that) those kind of daily experience, memory.

A; Because there are memories of something…, there are memories of various things, we have had many things which have been constant in our life, for many years, do they all have the same impact on us?

Q: No.

A:You could also be meeting…, you could be seeing some people at work, there could be a receptionist at your office, there could be your fellow staff member in your office. You might see them every day. Maybe sometimes we are longer at work, than we are at home. We still see them for long periods of time. So, memory can be there [of those people at office]. It still doesn’t truly answer the question ‘What is the distinction? Why is it that something [some appearance] would be different from what some other appearance would do?

Q: Not sure. [Smiles]

A:Suppose you had the same amount of memories of [another sangha member]? Number of memories would be same. So, all these ideas would be there with you; that she has been there. [In memories] Maybe we had enough memories implanted in your brain about her also. Still there will be a distinction if [Questioner’s wife] was to do something and if [Other sangha member] was to do something.

Q: I will say theoretically it should not.

A:There will be, because there is a sense of ownership about some appearances and no sense of ownership about others. If my children were not ‘my’ children, then they would just be ‘children’. I gave this example of when we got this garden outside, I went and planted some seeds. There were many, many plants in the garden, but, automatically what would happen is next day when I would go and check the seeds, I would see what happened to those seeds first.

Why? Because there is a sense of ‘me’ and ‘mine’ attached to that.

Now, how is it that Awareness remains unchanged, Beingness remains unchanged, but appearances come and go…, how is it that some appearances become mine and some I am not concerned with?

Q: Attachment is definitely there.

A:Attachment; this sense of something being mine, this is attachment. And this itself is inherently painful because in the realm of appearances everything is constantly changing. So, when we say something is ‘mine’ then we are trying to attach to something which wants to change. In our own persona, in our own personality, we have seen many changes over the last 10

years. We say ‘Oh, I used to be like this, now I am like this’. So, that is changed. How is it that when an appearance comes, that we have this ability to attach to it? What makes this happen? Then maybe we can also figure how to not suffer from attachment. So, how is it?

Q: I would say the attachment is with the idea of a person.

A:Idea of a person! Very good! We are now in this phase now where I am questioning and drilling down on everything. So, what does an idea mean?

Q:So, idea is a mix of what I saw years ago and what I thought I would expect years ago, something like that; a mix of expectation and ‘What is’.

A:Yes, let us take a simple example. Let’s say a new one walks in the door right now and he comes in the door and the idea comes ‘Nice person!’ Or the idea could come ‘But they’re not so nice’. Are we the creator of this idea?

Q: The mind is the creator of this idea.

A:Yes, but can you say what your next thought is going to be before the thought comes?

Q:No.

Q:Cannot say; right. Therefore it just arises. Now mostly in our lives, and mostly in the world, what has happened is that, these ideas have come about certain appearances, and we really have no way of telling why it came with some and not others; why which ideas come. But they have been believed to be true, and they come.

So, to wrap it up so that it is clear. There is this ‘I’ which is unchanging, there is a sense of Being which comes and with it comes all of this world of appearances, the entire play starts. With every appearance, for most of humanity, there is an idea / interpretation of those appearances that come to most of us. When these ideas are bought, these thoughts are bought, then the capacity to call them ‘mine’ is there. That becomes an attachment. Now, anything that appears in this realm, that we call ‘me’ or ‘mine’ has the potential to cause suffering, because we have seen that this realm is a changeful one. It’s constantly changing. Even if we try to keep it completely constant, it changes one day. So, that which we say is ‘me’ or ‘mine’ must go one day; sooner or later it is going to go. So, what should our approach be, if we come to a point that ‘Living a life of suffering is not what I want’?

Actually, you are the only one in last 3 years of satsang, who has told me that ‘I actually have no suffering’. [Smiles] So maybe for you that impetus is not there. But mostly they all come to satsang and say ‘A life of suffering is not what I want, so how do I be free from this sense of suffering?’ What is moving in this realm is moving in its own way. Even our thoughts are coming and going. Without giving ‘belief’ to these ideas, is it possible for us to suffer?

Q: Not possible.

A:When we look at the basket of ideas that we have, you don’t have to do anything about the really strong ones you have right now; like the husband idea, keep it. But at least the small ones, like ‘I have an idea about how my work should go’. I have an idea about…, anything. People have ideas about their houses, their cars. Everything is planned out. And we see that life doesn’t dance to the tunes of our ideas about life, and that causes suffering. So, if we start by dropping those and just experiment like this and see ‘What happens? Does life stop in its functioning? Does this body become inert? Will my work stop?’ And you will mostly find that life continues with some beautiful flow. But our attachments, our potential to suffer becomes lighter and lighter and lighter.

Q:I see that to detect whether attachment is there to certain ideas or not, that is sometimes…

[Difficult]

A:This is something you don’t have to do at all! Because the minute you find a pinch of suffering, know that it is coming from attachment. You cannot experience a pinch of suffering without there being attachment. So, life is showing you; it’s a big mirror which is showing you everything that is being held on to. You’ll find that all our ideas about how life should be then life shows clearly that that causes suffering. So, when you look at it…’Why am I suffering? Because this (something) happened. Why am I suffering? Because this happened’. This shows that it is being held onto. Because it is not possible for us to suffer, without holding on to some idea.

The mind will come and say ‘No, no, at least this idea, I’m justified in holding’. It will come and say ‘This is going too far! This idea, at least, I should be entitled to hold’. But you find that nothing actually can be held onto in this realm. Why? Because we don’t know whether we will wake up in this realm tomorrow!

That-which-we-truly-are remains unconcerned with the movement of this world of appearances; that which we are presuming ourselves to be. Maybe more important aspect of it is that can we call something ‘mine’ without first having a ‘false’ idea about who this ‘me’ is?

Q: Couldn’t understand?

A: Can we call something ‘mine’ without having the wrong idea about who the ‘me’ is?

Q: I see.

A:So, when we see that all these attachments belong to this imagined person that I considered myself to be, that never was born…

We talked about Awareness, then we talked about the birth of Being within that and the dissolution of it (in deep sleep). Then we talked about this realm of appearances coming and all of the ideas coming. Where was the person born? It was not actually born! It is just a bundle of beliefs.

So, that which we are believing right now, is that which we are calling the person. We mix up this person identity. It has no tangibility! No reality!

Q:So, there is an attachment to an idea of a ‘me’, and then there is an attachment of idea about others?

A:Exactly! So we can say get rid of this ‘me’ around which…

So, this ‘me’ is the basket, and all the wrong ideas are filled up in this basket. Once we drop this basket, and we see that this ‘me’ itself is the basic wrong idea, then all the false attachments will drop!

Because is there something you are attached to as Awareness?

Can you attach to something just being Awareness?

Q: No.

A:Can you attach to something as just pure Beingness?

Q:No.

A:So, first we must be attached to the idea that ‘I am something’ to then to say this is ‘mine’. So, either desire or aversion first implies that ‘I must be an individual or separate entity’.

Look for Yourself and Validate What I Say

A:For me to be able to say that things are coming and going, I must be outside of that. As a passenger inside the plane, if all the windows were closed, if I could not sense the turbulence of the plane, then it would not feel like the plane is moving at all. It is not coming and going. You see?

So, to be able to spot that something is moving or coming and going, there must be already a seeing from the outside [of that something]. So, what are we really saying? We’re saying that all objects in this phenomenal realm and the phenomenal realm itself is coming and going. So, there must be something outside of this phenomenal realm which is able to report that ‘Not only are the objects themselves in this realm coming and going, but also the entire realm seems to be coming and going; and different realms I’ve experienced’…, so we don’t even know for sure whether we are coming, going and coming back or [whether] there is just coming and going.

So, for this coming and going, we see that this unchanging witnessing (this Awareness) which is outside of the phenomenal realm must be present for us to even know of it.

Then you say that so many great sages have come to this point of ‘I do not know’. And it is enough for them. They’re not reporting and saying that ‘I Am Beingness which is made of this Awareness’. They have no need for such reports and this is completely fine, because ‘I do not know’ means that ‘I do not know who I am, therefore I can have no attachment’. You see?

First there has to be an identity with a ‘me’ for there to be something which can cause suffering. [There is no identity for] those who are beyond their suffering. It doesn’t matter what their expressions are like; whether they are speaking Advaita or they are talking about love or they are just the poor fakirs walking from door to door. If you have lost individual identity, that itself is enough to be free from suffering.

So this ‘I do not know’… ‘I do not know who I am’… is very, very, very beautiful and not to be looked down upon.

Okay, so this was the second thing. A related point which you said is that ‘You have to believe me when I say that you are Awareness’. No. Therefore, you must not make these kinds of beliefs. You must just say ‘Okay, he’s proposing that I’m this Awareness’. I’m giving you a hypothesis, you see, and you must validate that for yourself.

So don’t take it as a belief. You must not take it on as a belief, as an idea, because no belief is the truth. Even the belief that ‘I am Awareness’ is not the truth because Awareness does not capture the reality of what I Am. So, anything that I can say after ‘I Am’ is not true (‘I Am whatever’ is not true) and ultimately even ‘I Am’ is not true. There is great power in [Nisargadatta] Maharaj’s words when he says that. So, let’s not take these as the gospel truth of something; we’re not getting into a new religion here.

So I’m not saying ‘Just accept’. I have never said ‘Just accept; I am saying you are Awareness, so just accept’. No? We are NOT saying like that. [Chuckles]

We are saying: What do you find, when you check?

What do you find, when you check? Then all the reporting can happen and you see that ‘My report is that everything is coming and going’. But you’re not making up this report. You are aware of this; that everything is coming and going. That which is aware of this (that everything is coming and going) is That coming and going?

And you’re finding that This is not coming and going. So, whether you label this Awareness or the Absolute, it doesn’t matter. That which can report, That which is aware that everything is coming and going, is That itself coming and going? And who would be aware of That, if even This was coming and going?

Is it possible to see or experience or even intuit something without there being this Awareness?

So, therefore, the words in satsang are not to be taken as beliefs but just (like you said) to be taken as pointers; to check for yourself. And then what to do? [Contemplate, look] Simply check; with what is being shared.

Then we can feel like ‘Yes, this is in resonance with my direct experience’. And when they don’t seem to correlate you can come and say ‘Yes. What you said; like this…, that which is coming and going.., but in my experience it is Awareness which is coming and going, but Being stays’. You can come and make this kind of question and then we can look at it together.

Then we [Anantaji] can say ‘Okay, to report that Being is here, must not there be an Awareness that Being is here? If you are unaware of anything (including even Consciousness) has it ever existed for us, in truth?’

Then these kind of interactions can happen. Those are the beautiful ones because the interactions here are not meant to be that ‘Oh, I believe this’ and we are fighting for our beliefs. Because the worst thing…, like the world, to kill each other for their beliefs.

So here what we’re saying is that ‘This is what is seen here. What is seen over there?’ Can we see whether there’s some blind spot that is not clear? So, it is here to clean up our eyes, you see; our true eyes.

The ‘I’ Which is Prior to the ‘I Am’ is the Truth

Q: It is all appearance. The one who is trying to understand is not the true one.

A:So, let’s look at it like this. The ‘I’ that is aware of even this Being is the Truth. The ‘I’ which is prior to the ‘I Am’ is the Truth.

Now, what happens is…, what you’re saying is that the play of this super-imposition (as you call it; very nice)…, the super-imposition on this Being is the play of this realm.

Now, in the play of this realm, most are considering themselves to be objects within this realm. It is never true.

Now, in this realm you have all this…, it’s one big super-market that shows up. Now most of the shops are selling one story, that ‘You are an individual, separate entity’.

And there are some, a few shops which are selling this story that ‘You are not this. Look for who you really are’.

Both are phenomenal. Both are shops. There is nothing in this phenomenal realm which is the ultimate truth.

Yet, there is (as far as we are speaking from within the realm) there is also the appearance of great devotion, great love, great joy…, these come when we are coming to this kind of shop which tells us ‘I don’t have anything except this mirror’. And this mirror will transcend your phenomenal existence and show you that which is the Truth, your ultimate Truth…, which you have always known (is the funny thing). [Chuckles]

I’m telling you something that you have already known. Always.

You Have Never Left the Truth

Q:As a sage, you know that your highest position is the awareness of Awareness. Okay. You know that ‘you’ never woke up. When you wake up, there is no separation. Everything is You only. Now, why do you say that there is a separate higher power which takes care of everything? What does it mean? Is it not You?

A: Yes. There are many questions which you asked in this one statement.

Firstly, just phenomenally speaking for a minute, I want to say that (and you know this, but just so there isn’t somebody who might get confused)…, a sage is just that which, at this moment, is using this voice to share the words of this Presence; unadulterated, uncontaminated (as much as possible, although it can never be zero percent); speaking from this direct-ness of unassociated Being. So, you right now, if you’re speaking from the un-identification of personhood, then you are also as much a sage as anyone else.

Then the second question was ‘This truth that Awareness is aware of Itself; this is the ultimate truth. Then why is it that we say (to those who come to satsang sometimes) ‘Don’t worry. Grace is taking care of it. There is a higher power which is Grace which is taking care of it’?

Now, there are two reason why. One is that (it is Seen here) that as this Beingness is the light of this world, it is not vindictive in the way that this world has been created. It is Seen that everything seems to flow in a beautiful way. And we have experienced this in our own life. Most importantly, when we say that ‘Yes, yes, you don’t have to worry if the sun is rising from the East tomorrow’…, we are not speaking the truth. But we are speaking to someone at that level, at that point of time. So, if you’re talking to a kid who has got some affliction, you will tell them that (even if you know that it is going to last for a few days) you say ‘Don’t worry. It will get better day by day’.

Depending on what level of resonance is there, then all this speaking happens. Why is it sometimes a sage will say ‘Okay, you, don’t do anything. You just surrender’. And sometimes a sage will say ‘Yes, yes, yes. You just chant this mantra’. Sometimes a sage will say ‘Just only inquire. If you feel there is something to do, just do the inquiry all the time’.

Why? Because in this play when you have those who are still presuming themselves to be people, then the role from here seems to be to play that ‘doctor’ role and say ‘Okay, what is this one afflicted by? And what is the solution for that seeming-affliction?’ Although one day, they will have the realization that there never was an affliction. But if you see they are not in that state and you say ‘Oh, but you’re not afflicted by anything’…, for some, they might experience the directness of it and see that, but those ones are very rare. Therefore, the sage in his compassion will say ‘Okay, what is it that is seemingly-afflicting this child right now and what will move them in the direction of the truth? What will point them in the direction of the truth?’ But [he]

might not always be saying ‘Only Awareness is aware of Itself’. They might not even understand those words. ‘What is this awareness?’

Q: So, for you, as a sage…,

A: [Big smile] That term is not so attractive to me, actually. But it’s okay. You can say it.

Q: No, Father, something has to be communicated like this. No? What to say.

A:You know why? Let me also say why. Because when we use words like that…, (it’s fine, I know the space where you’re coming from. I also know what you’re referring to)…, the point is that movement in this expression [Ananta] has always been to try and show you that there is truly no distinction between us.

Q: Yes, yes. There’s no doubt about it. I have to become You!

A:You Are. We are One. Only there is a misbelief which tells you otherwise, and that has to be dropped. That’s all.

All Appears in the Light of Consciousness

Q:Now I’m asking you how the world happens. [It comes] out of the Being; but in the world…, we have bodies and everything, Universe and everything…

A:So, with the birth of this Consciousness, the appearance; whether it is experienced as this sense of touch, experienced as a sense of smell, or experienced even as a sense of visualization, imagination or memory; all of this is just appearances in the light of Consciousness, isn’t it. So, just like with the birth of Consciousness comes all this phenomenal world, emergence of all of these powers like attention, belief, gravity, electricity, magnetism, light, sound, time, space… all of these are appearing.

Now, how to answer how these are created, nobody can answer. There’s no answer to this ‘How does Consciousness…? What tools does it use, what mechanism does it use to create the sense of time or space or gravity or light or electricity?’ At least I, don’t have a good answer for that.

All I can report from my experience is that when This is here, when Being is here, then all of these seem to come into play. How it is created by Being, what steps it uses or is there even something like steps we can say for Being…, I find that only we have to say that they just appear; made up of Being Itself, all aspects of Itself.

So, just like when you mix up all the colors, this Awareness or this primal Witnessing is now experiencing itself as if it is existing, as if it is a Being. And still it is made up of all the colors. And with the appearance of This, then all these colors seem to spill out and are seen. All the powers, phenomenal experiences as well as the content of this world seem to appear.

‘How’ is a question beyond answer, I feel.

Best to Just Let Go of This Mind

Q:Here yesterday, mind was only allocated to only these tasks; work, Doctor of Business Administration, [college], kids and nothing else. Are thoughts pre-ordained? But for whom would they be preordained?

A:Actually, as we find there is only cause, one doer, then the question of preordained or whether consciousness is creating a script and then playing out that script…, or whether he or she is winging it moment to moment has become more irrelevant. Isn’t it? Because even time is born within this Being. So, that which gives birth to time, whether that is subjecting itself to the functioning of time by preordaining the script…, or whether all of this is already happened and we are viewing it later with our attention; or whether everything is so fresh that Consciousness is spontaneously dancing is something that cannot be truly said.

But what you can say is that it has to be that the person has no role in the thoughts. It has no power to create thoughts or not; and it definitely doesn’t have the power to believe them also. If you mean preordained, means they just come from Consciousness, then yes.

But for whom would they be preordained? For Consciousness itself. It is only Consciousness that is here, which is experiencing everything. You see? There is nobody else. If it is Grace playing to watch itself find itself, yes, that’s what is happening. It is Consciousness playing the game of losing itself, deluding itself and now playing the game of finding itself.

Then the belief in thoughts are what? Belief in thoughts is the power with which Consciousness plays this game pretending as if it is a person. That’s why I have said that ‘If you want to see God pretending to be a person, just believe your next thought’.

Q: All of them, I have been writing them down, come for ‘me’…, but she is not there.

A: For the pretense. Exactly.

Q: Mind is not getting that ‘There is no ‘me’ and it wants a new job’.

A:[Chuckles] Yes. The mind is the lawyer, which always will represent the non-existent client, you see. So don’t expect this leopard to change its spots; this lawyer to start changing its objections. It will keep objecting; whatever is appearing in reality, it will keep resisting everything. That is the role of the mind. But if the thoughts don’t get believed, then everything seems much lighter, and then we are not playing the game of pretend/pretend anymore.

Q: So, it is doing it to itself; so I have to do nothing as it is because it is being done.

A:‘Has to do something or has to do nothing’…, is itself nothing. The ‘I’, which is wondering whether itself it has to do something, or it has to not do anything now, itself is nothing. You see?

It is not Consciousness that is asking ‘What should I do now?’

That’s why I say that doer-ship is one of the strongest legs of this ego. It will say ‘Yes, yes, there is no person here, only Consciousness. God is the one doer and I am that which is aware even of this Consciousness. But just, you know, by the way, what should I do now?’

You see? [Laughter] If we let go of this idea, then you will see that there has never been an individual doer. So the ‘I’ that wants to decide what to do or not to do, itself is nothing.

Q: It is all thoughts?

A:Yes, like by default. Yes, yes…, all thoughts. Because thought would mean that

Consciousness needs to listen to its own creation to decide what to do next; which itself is implausible, isn’t it? If it is the creator of that thought, then why does it have to create that thought first, and then say ‘So, this is what I have to do or not’. [Chuckles]

So this sense of choosing whether to believe the thought can only come when there is a sense that ‘I must be that one that my thoughts are reporting to’. So this choice (this seeming-choice) is only for the non-existent one. You see? So, as long as it does feel like that choice is there, we must continue to make the choice of not believing. Then one day we come to the Seeing that there was no choice in it. God was just playing with Itself, in this way.

So is very beautiful to be able to just let go of this mind. Otherwise, we will still be evaluating…, whether this one is a practical one or this one is psychological one or this one is spiritual one. We don’t need to make any of these distinctions. Just allow it to go.

The Basis For Not Believing Thoughts

Q:The choice of not believing our thoughts…, that takes a lot of effort not to believe; in a way, right?

A:For all thoughts, does it take a lot of effort? Or do you find already that if you say ‘I’m just going to let them go’ you’ll find that some will go? But some will stick; those which have been nourished a lot in the past with our belief. So, what to do with these? Is that the question?

Q:Uh, no. What I’m saying is that when we choose not to believe our thoughts, it is because we don’t want to suffer or go through…, follow the mind …

A: Just because they’re not true. That is the best way.

Q:Yeah, because they’re not true. Or I don’t want to follow the path of the mind, to not go there. I don’t know whether it’s true or not true; I don’t want to think about it, because it’s just too much to do.

A:It’s a very important point. Unless it’s clear that the mind is not selling us the truth, there will be times where the mind is able to ‘sell us some tickets’. You see?

So, we must be able to look at this and say ‘Why is it?’

Because every single thought has a presumption that the separation happened, that it is speaking to a separate entity.

If it is only One, only One, then why do I need a voice to talk to myself? You see?

So we must See now that these thoughts are referring to you as if you are [her name], as if you are a separate entity.

Q: Oh, I see. Okay.

A:They are not saying that ‘You are Awareness’…, ‘Hey, Awareness, you better pick up the groceries’. [Chuckles] You see?

They’re not referring to you as the truth of what you are. They are referring to you as if you are a separate entity. Isn’t it?

Q: Oh, I see.

A:So, that is the basis for not believing thoughts. Not an ulterior motive to be free of my suffering also (although it can be that).

But the true reason is because they’re not true. They’re not speaking to the truth of what I am. They’re speaking to the pretense of what I am.

Q: Okay. I see.

A:So, when we are done with playing that pretend role, we are done with the false…, because we cannot find this person; so I’m done catering to the needs of that one which we cannot find.

Q:Wow. You said it so well. It’s like a voice talking to my own Self. Why do I need confirmation from some other…, the mind to tell me what I have to do?

A: Yeah. Exactly. If it is you, then why do you need a voice to communicate with yourself?

It’s just like you pick up the phone, and the voice on the other end is saying ‘Hello. It’s you calling’. So, that’s what is happening with the mind.

You are already You. Why do you need a voice to talk to yourself? [Chuckles]

So, it’s just this wrong number that you picked up, saying ‘Yeah. It’s you. What do you have to do?’

And because it speaks authoritatively, we’ve given a lot of power to this, without really saying ‘But who is this? Whose voice is this? Who is speaking to whom?’

How Can We Find That Which is Beyond Phenomena?

Q:I’m really happy for you to question me. But also just wanted to check. I was listening to yesterday’s satsang and (I can’t remember who you were talking to but it was Devi) and you were looking at whether the ‘I’ changes, and whether the ‘Am’ changes. And you said something along the lines of ‘Why don’t we just say I?’ (something like that). And I wanted to look at that because the ‘I’ doesn’t change and the ‘Am’ doesn’t change but they’re both different in my experience of them. So can we just look at that together quickly?

A:So, what is the difference?

Q:The ‘Am’ is like a.., it has like an attribute, of a feeling, a feeling of being here.., whereas the ‘I’ has no feeling to it; it’s Aware of the ‘Am’.

A:The sense of Being, the sense of Am-ness, is independent of the ‘I’. But is there ever the sense of ‘I’ without this ‘Am’?

Q: Yes.

A:You see? They must be distinct in some way, at least qualitatively.

Q:Ah, okay, yeah.

A:So, you also say that in your experience both.., did you say they’re both the same? Or what did you say?

Q:No. [Silence] It was something like; do either of them like stop? Or…, it was something like that. I’m sorry, I have such a bad memory. [Laughs].

A: Yes [Laughs]

Q:Is there ever a break in the experience of the ‘Am’ or something like that? I can’t quite remember.

A: Is there?

Q:Only deep sleep, but..,

A:But?

Q:Yeah, because I’m looking now at this sense of Presence and [Silence] this sense of Presence isn’t there in deep sleep.

A:That which knows this, is which one?

Q:The ‘I’.

A:Yes.

A:So, this is unchanging, isn’t it?

Q:Right.

A:That which knows that even the Presence of Being is unavailable in sleep state; to know this It must exist in sleep state.

Q:What the ‘Am’?

A:This ‘I’.

Q:Sorry, it’s so many words [Laughs] I’m just like..,

A:It’s okay, we can simplify. This Awareness remains constant and everything else is changing.

Q:Right.

A:In the phenomenal realm we cannot say that ‘Am’ is changing or Being is changing because everything is appearing only in the light of this Presence. You see?

Q: Yeah.

A:So, this Presence, when it plays along with the power of attention, then this phenomenal realm comes to life. Attention goes on an object, they seem to be real for me; they seem to exist for me at least. So, this is the phenomenal play. Now the entire reason we’re able to call this a phenomenal play must be that there is something which is beyond this phenomena.

So, how should we find That which is beyond phenomena? Because the tools we seemingly have; the senses we have, even the sense of inner perception we have, seems to be only giving us phenomena, isn’t it? So how do we find That? Is there something which is not phenomenal?

Q:[Silence] Father, I have to speak from the truth.

A:Yes, yes.

Q:It’s just Grace.

A:Ah? [Laughs] Was that the answer?

Q:Yeah.

A:Okay. [Chuckles] So, when we look at the two questions ‘Can you stop Being now?’ …, can you stop being?

Q: No.

A:Is it the same question as ‘Are you Aware now?’ [Silence] What is the distinction? First talk about ‘Can you stop Being?’ What happens?

Q:So ‘Can I stop Being?’ is like.., can I stop this, like this feeling of Presence, of being in the phenomenal?

A:Sense of existing, isn’t it? Who is Aware of this?

Q:The Awareness.

A:This Awareness, so when I check on ‘Am I Aware Now?’ isn’t it pointing straight to this Awareness?

Q: Yeah.

A:Which is Aware even of Being.

Q:Yeah.

A:Of Consciousness. Now is this a phenomenal experience? ‘Am I Aware now?’ What phenomena did you experience to be able to say ‘Yes’?

Q: There’s no attributes of the Awareness.

A: And that which is without attributes is not phenomenal.

Q:Just letting the words.., because I’m not very good with hearing these words, so I’m just.., can you just say it again for me?

A:Would it be fair to say that everything phenomenal has at least one attribute? Can we point some phenomena that has no attributes? Think of a phenomena with no attributes. Can we think? Think of an apple without a color?

Q: Yep, there isn’t.

A:You see? Even if you think of a transparent, there will be a sense of transparency (at least). Think of an object without any weight, no weight at all. Even the lightest feather will have some weight, isn’t it?

Q: Yes.

A:Without a shape…, can you find a phenomena without a shape? So, color, weight, shape, size; all of these attributes. Everything phenomenal must have at least one attribute for us to be able to report that it is perceived.

Now when we ask ‘Are you Aware now?’ what is the attribute that is found? [Silence] Does this Awareness have a size, weight, shape, color? [Silence]

What are we seeing to confirm this?

Q: It’s not. It’s not even a Seeing, it’s a complete removal from this phenomenal world.

A:Yes. So when we say ‘It is not even a Seeing’ it means that it’s not even perceived like other objects. Not like ‘I see this hand or I see a memory, imagination’. It is not seen in that way.

Q: No, but It sees everything.

A: Yes. So, that which sees everything, how do we know of its existence?

Q:[Laughs] I can’t.., because.., I’m just really looking, at myself and [Silence] ‘How do I know of its existence?’

A:We can profess to the existence of Being-ness because we can sense the Presence. You might not be able to name some attribute but at least you can say Presence or Being is experienced.

Q: Yeah.

A:But is there such a Presence for This which is Aware even of Being? Is it experienced even in the subtlest way?

Q: [Silence] I can’t find a way to.., to word it.

A:But is it tilting…, is the answer tilting more towards ‘There is some phenomenality experienced in this Awareness?’ or it’s ‘No’? More towards no or yes?

Q:Um.., I know the sense of Presence because that’s felt, but to say ‘How do I know’ or ‘How am I Aware of this Awareness?’…, I can’t find any.., I just want to say ‘It’s all there is’.

A:Yes. And yet, if we can’t really find any phenomenal evidence of it, what is it that makes us say ‘Yes, I am Aware’ rather than ‘No’ or ‘I don’t know’?

Is there something else like this; like Awareness, where we can say (except it just being a blind belief in some sense) is there anything else like this which we cannot find phenomenally but we confirm its existence?

Q: Sorry, Father. [Laughs]

A:It’s okay, it’s okay. The question is the same actually, I’m just rephrasing it over and over: How do we say ‘Yes’ to ‘Are you Aware Now?’

Q: Because it’s all there is; just Aware. I can’t find any other answer.

A:Yes. When we say ‘All there is’ what does it mean? What about this whole phenomenal realm?

Q: But It’s aware of the phenomenal realm.

A:Yes, yes. [Silence] And this ‘It’ which is aware of the phenomenal realm, who is aware of ‘It’?

Q:‘It’.

A:‘It’ is Aware of itself.

Q:Yes. [Laughs]

A:And where are you in this equation?

Q:It. [Laughter]

A:Okay, so you have this One. You are this Awareness. Then why did you create this world? [Silence] Or did you? [Silence] What is the purpose of existence?

Q:All that’s coming is.., [Silence] Sorry I’m just watching these thoughts coming now. It’s very much they’re seen as just thoughts but they’re trying to get attention and identification, so I’m just..,

A:Yes. [Silence] Okay, let’s leave purpose aside for a minute. What happens when you start to exist in this way? What changes for You in reality?

Q:In reality nothing. And actually the body carries on moving the way it’s always done, and has conversations and has thoughts like it’s always done; just knowing that it’s not You…, and the same feelings, but there’s not identification with them.

A: Do we truly know that it has always been this body and these feelings?

Q: No, because it’s the One experiencing through so many different bodies at the same time.

When [he] was speaking the other day and he said something along the lines of.., he was talking about the waking and the dream state; and it was so obvious that it’s the body mechanism that wakes up, and it feels like You’ve woken up out of the sleep but it’s actually the body/mind wakes up and then Awareness and the Being the Being-ness get identified with that body/mind and believe it is that separate existence waking up.

A:How is it that this attribute-less One, that we can’t find any phenomenal attributes to, can bring Itself to believe it’s either Being or this body/mind?

Q:It’s conditioning and the role of the ..,

A:What is this power of belief?

Q:Yep, belief; repetitive exposure to conditioning which is all written, all part of the play and then it’s believing the thoughts that comes through the mind…, but You’re aware of these thoughts, but you start to believe them because they’re so repetitive.

A:So are you saying that if this power of belief was not here, there would be no pretending or identification or conditioning?

Q:I haven’t contemplated this so I don’t know if there’s any other power apart from belief that would…

A:Okay, so maybe we can look now. So, right now, now, now, is there any identification?

Q:There’s some.

A:Right now, right now [Chuckles]

Q:There’s some. [Laughs].

A:If I didn’t give you a moment to think about the identification.., without a thought arising, would you be able to tell me what the identification was?

Q:[Silence] Yeah. Identification is feelings in the body arising which causes some sort of contraction or feeling of being limited within this skin, plus thoughts, feelings believed in and thoughts believed in that make the Being-ness feel like it’s contracted in a body.

A: Yes, so let’s slow it down. How do we believe a feeling?

Q:The feeling will arise and then there will be some sort of memory of that feeling, causing some sort of discomfort or something.

A:So a feeling arises.

Q:Yeah.

A:The memory arises.

Q: Yeah. And then the belief that it’s happening to a ‘you’.

A:What gets belief? Because there’s an arising, just like there could be an arising of a candle, there could be an arising of a flower. [Picks up a flower] So, this flower is there and there’s a memory of many flowers also coming. What gets belief?

Q:You believe that flower is you. (…actually you don’t believe that…)

A:[Holds up the flower] Suppose this is what is arising inside you.

Q:Okay.

A:And there is memories of all the flowers. What gets belief?

Q:The thought.

A:It’s a thought.

Q:Yeah.

A:So, the object in itself; can you believe an object by itself without the label? So, a label has to be a thought, isn’t it?

Q: Yeah.

A:So, the arising of a feeling is just like the arising of some sensation but the sensation itself without even labeling it cannot get our belief, and therefore cannot become part of our egoic identity. You see?

So it could be the most constricted sensation, it could feel like all of our life energy is getting constricted but without any interpretation what would happen to it? It would just be watched. So, as it is just witnessed there is no identification with it. For identification to happen there has to be at least a label, at least a thought. So, therefore if you were to not identify, what would we have to do?

Q: [Silence] I know the ‘answer’.., what you would say.

A: Yes, but you’re looking fresh.

Q:Which would be ‘Don’t believe your next thought’. I’m looking fresh, but I know from experience it’s not like that. It’s either that the energy is either there to come and believe it, or the energy doesn’t arise for that belief.

A:Yes. So, the energy; is it separate from what we call the power of belief? This energy of belief is what?

Is it the same as what we call the same as power of belief?

Q:[Silence] I can see something is wriggling, something is.., is trying to wriggle. But it’s all watched from this space of Awareness but there’s something here that’s just wanting to just get away now.

A:Yes. Because something says that ‘Because of this energetic movement, either belief goes to it or it doesn’t go’. I am saying ‘Is there this energetic movement and separately that which we call the power of belief?’ Or are you referring to the same power of belief as this movement of belief?

Q: I can’t hear your words sorry.

A:Do you remember what you said last? [Chuckles] Okay, let me remind you. We said that when a thought comes, the way not to get identified with it was not to believe it. But you say that ‘I don’t see it that way actually. I see this energetic movement of belief (which goes to it or not’.

So I said ‘Is this energetic movement of belief not the same as what we call the power of belief?’ Is there a power of belief and also this energetic..?

Q: No.

A:It’s the same, it’s the same. So, this power of belief, you’re saying ‘Is just an arising. It is actually no power that is in your control as Consciousness, to believe or not to believe’. That what you say. Okay, so if I was to say, or the thought came to you ‘Hey, your nose is suddenly turned green’ would you believe it?

Q: No. Well, actually I would probably check.

A:[Chuckles] (Give her some other example.) If the thought was that ‘You’re actually right now you’re on a plane to Timbuktu’ would you believe it?

Q: No.

A:So, this is the power of belief or disbelief. If it was completely random then it would be a coin toss whether you would believe this thought or not, you see? So as the non-existent individual, obviously you don’t have any power whatsoever. But as This Consciousness Itself which is playing the game of pretending and not pretending, there is this seeming choice; to not believe your next thought.

There comes a point where you’re able to say that ‘Even all of this is just happening on its own’. There are two times when you would say this. One is when you’re lamenting as this person, lamenting as this person ‘But I have no control over my belief. What am I to do?’ At that time I will tell you ‘No, you do have that power because you’re not this person, you are Consciousness. This power of belief completely belongs to You’.

Then there is a second way of saying this where you would say that ‘Yes, this is just part of my play, and there is belief which is going to the personal identity, and it is getting withdrawn from the personal identity, and truly I am not concerned about it at all’. So, is this the way you’re saying it? Or is it the first way you’re saying it?

Q:No, it has to be said that it’s this, it’s the latter. But then there is re-identification after these openings, where the energy contracts and at some point there is belief in the person; and then there’s that ‘Oh, what can I do?’ And that’s believed, that thought is believed ‘What can I do?’

A:Yes, very good. So, when the thought is believed. ‘What can I do?’ or ‘What choice do I have right now?’ then you make the choice to not belief your next thought. Then you can do it. But then this sense of doership itself is not there and it’s just operating from the Witnessing perspective, then nothing; no trouble at all.

Q: No trouble, no trouble. But it’s seen that…, [Silence] It’s okay.

A:So, ‘Don’t believe your next thought’ is a pointing which will extinguish the sense of doership actually.

There’s an old story in India where the elephant trainers.., the elephants are very troublesome because when they walk in the market then they disrupt everything. They pick an apple from here, bananas from here; they disrupt everything where they walk. So what does the elephant trainer do? He makes them hold a stick in his trunk. When he’s holding the stick in his trunk then he remains steady, he doesn’t go here and there.

So in the same way our need to ‘do’, our need to perceive ourselves as the doer of something is one of the strongest legs of our separate identity. So this sense of doership gets extinguished when it’s turned onto itself.

So, when we say ‘Don’t believe your next thought’ that includes ‘What should I do next? ‘So in this way, as we are not believing our thoughts, allowing them to come and go, we will find that this doer perspective starts dissolving more and more. Then there comes a point when you say that ‘There is nothing, truly nothing to do’. And if there is truly nothing to do, we find it very, very, very difficult actually to identify as a person.

I’ve spoken recently about these two D’s. One is ‘Do’ership, and the second is Desire. So, these are the strongest two legs of the ego.

How does the desire manifest? Not necessarily just as ‘Okay I desire this, I desire this, I desire Freedom’ …, not necessarily just in the big ways, but in every situation that we walk into. Mostly for humanity, it is just checking this question: ‘What’s in it for me? What’s in it for me? What’s in it for me?’ This is the most basic form of desire. Everything it comes into [contact with] it says ‘What’s in it for me? What about me? What’s in it for me? What about me?’ So, as we are not giving belief to these thoughts, we find that this doership gets extinguished and this desire gets lighter and lighter.

And you will find that many of the thoughts that most people seem to be believing right now, now are not given belief; but some still get you. So, which are these? These are the ones that have gotten a lot of nourishment from us in the past that you have believed. That which you have believed yourself to be in the past, when it comes up, something still rushes for believing that. So the better way then (rather than trying to resist those) is to find out ‘Who is this one? Who is now constricted?’ (for example). There can be a sense that ‘I am now constricted’. But is this really true? Can it ever be true?

It cannot be; because this Awareness (which we are not able to find in space at all) can never expand or constrict. So, that which is constricted cannot be ‘I’. And as we see this, that ‘As Awareness I remain un-constricted’ then all this energetic movement can come and go, but you are not identifying with it.

As you see this often, then even when a thought comes ‘Yes I’m getting constricted again’ it will not hold onto you because you know it’s not possible. So, these deep identifications can be inquired into.

So there can still be an idea that ‘I will be completely free when this constriction stops happening’ but it’s not true; because as Awareness you were never bound actually. The seeing of this is the recognition of your Freedom.

Q:And I’ve also come to see that there was this idea playing out that (in the time bound part of the play) that all of these constrictions and energies and everything, that they would all be gone, and I was just like waiting for them to all disappear but actually it’s okay; even if they come back (I mean it’s not enjoyable some of them obviously but) now that there’s not this waiting for them to all be wiped clean it seems like the goal has been removed, so now I’m just here with whatever comes.

A: Exactly.

Q: But that doesn’t mean that identification isn’t, you know, coming in and out.

A:Yes, but with this itself, this recognition itself, makes the identification lighter, isn’t it?

Q:Yeah.

A:So, it could be anything. Whatever it is, (for you, it could be this energetic constriction; for someone else it could be some other identity, the work identity, security identity, relationship identity) all of these are basically beliefs that we have that ‘Something is happening to me. I am, so this is happening to me’. And once we see that this ‘me’ doesn’t have any reality, then everything is allowed to happen. Then we are not picking and choosing our experiences also. Then everything we are open to experiencing.

So, you don’t mind if a constriction comes or an expansion comes. There can be a sense of [Gestures a constriction] then comes to [Breathes out]. Something expands, but even this ‘Ow’ and ‘Oh’ is also just seen. So that, that which Sees is not touched by any of this phenomenal movement. That’s where we started, isn’t it? That which has no phenomenal attributes cannot be effected by a phenomenal movement. Isn’t it?

How can you suffer right now? Show me the way [Chuckles].

Q: Cannot suffer as a person, but can experience pain and emotional discomfort.

A:Yes, yes. That is part of the masala of life, because if it was not there and everything was just sweet, sweet, sweet, we would not appreciate the taste of sweet at all. I don’t feel there is anyone who doesn’t experience pain.

Any other way to suffer?

Q: [Silence]

So, you yourself made this thing today, this nice image which said that ‘The minute you find a pinch of suffering means there is some attachment’. So what is attachment?

Q:[Laughs] Sorry. I’m not very intellectual when it comes to saying things.

A:I’m not asking for intellectual answer.

Q:Attachment seems to be the belief in a ‘me’ or a belief that something is mine or belongs to a ‘me’.

A:It’s very good, that’s exactly it, isn’t it? So, the sense that something is mine implies I’m believing that there is ‘me’. And this itself is cause for trouble.

Q:But still there’s like, when I look and say like the word ‘me’, it does…, when I think about attachments, or there’s an image arising of something belonging to me, like say this ring (okay, this ring is not a good example because I don’t really care about it) but yeah, like the word ‘mine’ or ‘me’ has a vibrational frequency of a [Makes a noise of contraction] [Laughs] but that is Seen. But that contraction of a ‘me’ is still experienced,

A:Yes. Well, what happens when you hear the word ‘me’?

Q:Or, like, say my name, for example. If someone says my name, there’s an immediate…, the body responds automatically to whatever. Even if someone says a word that sounds like my name, there’s an immediate body reaction to it and it seems like for that split-second the identity snaps back into play until there’s a natural noticing of that; that it was just an energy arising within me.

A:So I say [your name] then?

Q:It did just happen then.

Q:I don’t know, it was like, just an energy. It was just an energy, it was just an energy that arose within, I want to say within this body but it was just..,

A: It was just experienced.

Q:Just experienced, yeah, yeah.

A:So what was the identification?

Q:That the energy was a ‘me’. It was a belief in the energy.

A:Is the arising of the energy identification? No. The labeling of it as ‘me’…

Q: The labeling, yeah.

A: This is ‘me’. And this ‘me’ came to fore[front] when my name was taken.

Q: Yeah.

A: So, if we don’t even buy this interpretation?

Q: Yeah. Then it’s just energy arising and playing and moving. Ah, that’s nice. Thank you.

A:So, if we just say that something, some energy within me just automatically stands up to respond, but we don’t say that ‘Oh this was ‘me’ and the ‘me’ came back’ or something like that.

Q: Yeah, yeah. It’s enabling the [Inaudible]

A:It’s very natural. If someone says ‘Ananta’ it moves energetically like that. Yes.

Q:Is there anything else you want to..?

A:No, it’s good. Thank you.

Allow Yourself to Fall, to Relax & See What Happens

Q:[Expressing how intense fear can feel; fear of death, fear of dissolution in awakening, fear of thoughts of wanting to die, fear of mental/emotional states like sadness, anger, abandonment, unloveability, aloneness, fear of body issues, sense of constriction, weariness, fear of the world, etc.]

A:This fear is very, very old; very primal, very primitive. This fear…, even now if I tell everyone (like Papaji used to say) ‘Be quiet’. What does it mean? It doesn’t mean ‘Don’t speak’. It just means that ‘Be quiet’. Allow all things to come and go. ‘Don’t stir an inch’ he would say. It means ‘Don’t use any belief; nothing’.

Then for some of you, you might feel some strong urge to get back to a thought; an urge to hide behind a concept, because it feels too wide, too open. So, this ‘Be quiet’ is not a constricted state. You were talking yesterday about ‘Be quiet’. It’s not a constricted state.

So, when we stay like this, you will find that something, something wants to…

Q: Be angry…

A: Something

Q: Some problem…, not to be allowed to come to you…

A:Yes. Why? Look closely. Why?

Q:To distract.

A:To distract. From?

Q: The fall…

A: So, allow yourself to fall.

Q:But distraction is coming. The mind is saying …

A:Don’t distract; don’t distract. Now, allow yourself to fall. You said very beautifully ‘To distract from this seeming-sense of falling’. Don’t worry. Allow yourself to fall. See what happens.

Q:There are two things; some relaxation and like I will be a deception for you, like I was for my father. [Chuckles]

A: So, don’t go with that. Just go with the falling, with the relaxation.

Q:[Silence] Nothing is happening; just I can be quiet. And somehow there is some joy. And I can look for the …, I cannot force. I cannot say (mind says) ‘Fall now, fall now’.

A:Not like that, not like that.

Q:Something is aware of this.

A:Let that also go. No effort is needed.

Q:Because Awareness is here; it’s so evident. Yesterday, when I asked my question, afterwards I was ashamed; I was so angry. Mind was angry at Awareness. Awareness is here; of course it is here.

A:[Silence] Just allow everything to dissolve within this Awareness. Don’t try to escape from it, don’t try to run. See if you can let the distractions just come and go.

Q:I just feel very tired in this moment. This tiredness has come. Not the fear of falling but something primordial.

A:Yes, even this tiredness; allow it to just be here and see if it dissolves into Awareness Itself.

But no rush. Don’t try to do anything. Just watch.

Q: [Silence] [Sighs] I feel too much pressure.

A: Yeah. Just see if you can just witness it, even this pressure.

Q:Yes, I can witness it. I cannot do nothing about this distraction of the mind.

A:Yes.

Q:And I feel also in the front here, like in the heart.

A:Yes.

Q:And there is a big fear of a big fall. But I can do nothing about it. I can be Aware.

A:Just remain as a witness of this; all of it.

Q:[Silence]

Who Is Aware of Everything and Nothing?

Q:Could you maybe ask something so I can look inside with your help?

A:Yeah. Is there something that you are absolutely certain about?

Q: That ‘I Am’. That something is here.

A: Is this an idea? Or is this your experience?

Q: It feels like it’s not just an idea. It feels like it’s something alive; it’s live.

A: Yes, yes. Who is aware of this aliveness?

Q:Whenever I look there, it’s like a black hole. I can’t find a ‘who’ but everything that would be believed to be a ‘who’ is kind of sucked in that hole in a way. It’s like something opens, but there is really no end to that. And it doesn’t have a form by itself. Somehow it feels like everything is like dancing in it.

A:So, that which is aware of the black-hole, is that also black?

Q:No.

A:You see. So, ‘black-hole’ also is seen. That which is aware of this, where everything seems to be moving about, dancing, or this big black space; let’s go to that which is aware even of this.

What is the color of this one?

Q: Yeah. There is no color.

A: If there is no color, is there a size, is there a shape? Is it a void? Is it a thing?

Q: No. It’s nothing.

A: This no-thing, where are you in relation to this one?

Q:Somehow, there is a certain shyness to say that ‘I Am’ truly, actually That. There is a sense of localness somewhere. It seems like I am switching either I am looking at it, or I am actually looking from it at what I believe to be me.

A:Try to look from a localized me. Try to look from there and tell me who is aware of that? [Pause] First you try to look from this localized sense of me. And then see whether that which is aware of this localized sense of me is actually enclosed locally somewhere.

Q: No. I cannot really look from that localized me.

A:Cannot really look. You see, the mind is giving you some visuals to convince you that the painting of the truth or the painting of awareness. First it gave you some big black space, for some they see some white light. The mind is trying to fulfill your request right now, saying that

‘These pictures will show you the truth of who you are’. But the mind cannot win in this because

That which is aware of these pictures, can we make a picture out of That one?

Q: No.

A:Cannot make a picture of that. So, it is painting all kinds of paintings, it might even give you many interpretations, but there is awareness of all of this movement, which in itself you cannot paint or describe, isn’t it?

Q: No.

A:You see? So, This, if it cannot be seen like this, if it cannot be found through logic also, then how do you know of its existence?

Q: [Laughs] Well, if I cannot experience it, I must…, I must be It.

A:Well, you can’t experience the moon, or let’s say you can’t experience Pluto. Does that make you Pluto?

Q: No. That’s true. Let’s say it exists, but it doesn’t exist as an experience.

A: Yes, this is very good.

Q:Yes, but there is a tremendous certainty. There is a living certainty that it exists, not an intellectual certainty. It’s like everything that would know something is penetrated by that. I don’t know how to put it…

A:Yes, very good, very good. So, therefore, when you check ‘Am I aware now?’ on what basis is this answered?

Q: On what basis?

A:Yes, I am presuming you will say ‘Yes’. So, on what basis do you say ‘Yes’?

Q:It seems so like…, it is unescapable, in a way. There is nothing apart from That. That I could not, not be aware. That’s what I mean.

A:Yes, yes, yes. And yet it is not seen as an experience. It’s not experienced phenomenally. Isn’t

it?

Q:I just want to make sure that you are not going with some visual again.

A:Yeah, yeah

Q: Ummm, no. It’s not seen as an experience.

A: Very good.

Q:And still certain states come up for the dynamic Consciousness, when attention moves to that point. To the pointless …, I mean, like a sense of vastness. All these sensations come up and I see that sometimes I kind of mistake awareness for a sensation, for a kind of spiritual sensation, which has led me back to the person many times before. Because there were some very beautiful spiritual sensations and they were… in everyday life they are not present sometimes. There are very earthly sensations. Then the sound comes ‘Okay, you are not in it anymore’.

It’s a very limited thought actually.

A:Yes, yes. So, now speaking from the perspective of this Awareness, where are these sensations in relation to you?

Q:Well, I am aware of their beginning and I am aware of their ending. I am beyond them. But they come from me; they are not separate from me.

A: Yes. Is there a sense of a primary sensation which seems like a basis for all other sensations?

Q:Yes. It’s not a very concrete sensation. It’s not a sensation with a lot of attributes.Yes, there is some kind of primary sensation. It’s like a reference point of the other sensations. What I perceive comes, is reported to this. Similar as attention; but also attention reports to this sense of Presence.

A:Very good, very good. So, can you find a point of intersection between Awareness and Presence? Is there a point at which they meet?

Q:I don’t know how they cannot meet. I don’t know if there is a point where they do not meet. It’s like, I don’t know. I can give some pictures, but I feel this Awareness was there before the sense of Presence was there.

A:Yes, yes. And yet they are not two now. Isn’t it? Although the sense of Presence is there, it is still one with awareness.

Q:Yes. Yeah. It is still made of this Awareness. Now, there are some very strong sensations; like space, expansion, all those things coming up. But I see I don’t need to prioritize them to this neutral seeing; not because they are stronger. They are more significant. It feels like the most beautiful is that still that it’s all being Seen.

A: Yes. And from the perspective of this Seeing, is there something as strong or weak?

Q:No. Not really, no. I see how still something is reporting strength and weakness; something is still measuring, something is still…, ummm.

A:Yes, yes. So, this form of interpretation, this one is the one I call the checker guy. So, you leave this checker guy with me today, because this checker guy will give you a lot of trouble otherwise. You see? It keeps checking ‘How much is this? What percentage of Awareness are you? How free are you?’ It will keep checking all of this. It will keep evaluating the different experiences you have, the spiritual experiences also. And it will try to keep giving you a report card. But it is also ‘the same guy’ operating as the checker and reporter, which you have to make sure you leave here today.

Q: There is a lot of identity connected to that.

A:Yes, yes. Because vigilance has been confused to be this checking, which it is not. You see?

Q:What is vigilance?

A:Vigilance is just remaining open. And once there is a sense of some prick (the sense of a pin prick or suffering or something) we are not to be in denial of that, but just to remain open and check: ‘What is it? What rotten food have I put in my basket again? See which belief have I got in my basket again?’ To look like that and throw it away. That is vigilance.

Vigilance is not a constricted state of constantly checking, checking. Constantly we are checking ‘What is what’. It’s not like that. It just this simple remaining open. But not to be in denial of something. If something feels like there is suffering, then we check ‘What is the mis-belief? What is the identity I have picked up in my basket again?’ And we look at that and we throw it away. That is vigilance. You see, many have confused that to mean some sort of a constricted state of constantly just checking, as if you are a scared soldier in a war zone or something like that. But it is not like that.

Q: There is no fear in the vigilance.

A:Yes, yes. There is no fear in the vigilance. This is very good; a very good way to put it. It is just a simple, open allowing and just a simple checking of this, without the ‘No, no, I want it to be this way. I hope no identity comes’. It is not all of that.

Q: Yes! Yes! Ah, it’s good news. I don’t need that checker. [Laughs]

A:Yes. [Laughs] Because that can’t be freedom. If we are constantly, just fearfully checking for everything, that can’t be freedom. Freedom must mean allowing everything, all states to come. But openly looking; not to be in some sort of Advaita denial of things. Just check. ‘What is the experience here?’ And we know that if there is a sense of suffering, if there is a sense of ‘ouch’ or yuckiness or something, then we know that we have picked up a wrong idea. So to openly look for that bad apple and throw it out is simple. That is vigilance.

Q: Because, the suffering will announce itself. Don’t need to…

A:No need, no need. And our sensitivity will become so much that the slightest pinch of suffering now is experienced. So, unless we try to repress it or push it under the carpet, or just fight with it saying ‘I am Awareness, I am Awareness, I can’t suffer’. But just to be open and to look and say ‘No. There is this belief here, there is this identity here. Who is it? Who am I?’

To then use the inquiry to throw away these rotten beliefs is simply vigilance. But we don’t have to be constantly just in this fearful state. It will announce itself (like you said very beautifully). Very good.

Q:I am so happy this is possible. Thank you very, very much for sharing the satsang like that.

A:That you so much, my dear. I am also very, very happy to see you.

The Silence of The Reality of What You Are

A:Let me ask you my favorite question. I feel that this is a crucial question. After all this [being in] satsang:

What is the recognition?

What is the truth?

Q:[Silence] It feels like nothing is coming because the truth is This. Just This. And the fragrance of this truth is silence. It feels like nothing can really be said that would really be meaningful in any way. To sit in silence is really the best that can be done.

A:What would be the difference between a school boy that has been asked by his teacher to sit in silence verses a sage sitting in silence or someone coming to satsang being in silence? Is there a difference between the two? Or is it the same silence?

Q:[Silence] I would say that ultimately it’s the same silence. But maybe for the school boy there’s an idea of someone that needs to be silent, someone that needs to maintain silence. Whereas satsang with me, [they] may come to the understanding that silence is what is already present and that there’s no one needing to keep silence or maintain silence, because it’s the natural space in which things appear and take form from.

So, even in satsang, maybe if people are new, maybe there is a feeling that ‘I need to be silent and my mind is so busy and I need to quiet my mind’ and then there’s a claiming or a blaming, I guess of a ‘me’ that can’t be silent. And it’s that belief in this ‘me’ that takes ownership of thoughts, the mind, and sees the mind as evidence of this ‘me’ that creates this sense that ‘I need to be silent. I need to sit in more satsangs and go to India and bathe in the Ganga (or whatever) to really, fully feel this silence or to be this silence’. But it’s just this belief; this belief that who I am is ‘other’ that creates the illusion that it’s not really present.

A: So, when the Master says to ‘Be quiet’ what is he really talking about?

Q:[Silence] Drop the belief in this ‘person’ and don’t pick up any belief. And notice that this quiet, this silence, is already what you are fundamentally.

A: [Quietly] Yes.

Q:Don’t entertain, don’t engage with any thought or any idea. As soon as it’s said ‘But I always do this or I already do that’ you’re already in the question. ‘I have trouble with this, I have trouble with that’…, already you’ve bought the assumption that what I am is other than the pure space of the silence of This; nothingness, emptiness. You made yourself into a thing.

A:[Quietly] Yes. [Silence] For the reality of what You Are, is it possible to not be in silence at all?

Q: [Joyous Smile/Soft laughter. Namaste hands]

A:Outward silence, or even our inward silence (which is the dropping of the sense of individuality) this being in silence, both outward and inward, just is like a beautiful invocation to the silence we truly are. Isn’t it? It’s like the bhajan to That Truth must only be silence.

Someone in satsang said ‘Can we sing a bhajan about That Truth’. And the truest bhajan to that One is our silence. Because actually in the ultimate reality, we cannot even say it is silent…, because silence or not doesn’t matter. And yet if you have to pick between the two, we have to say that It Is completely silent. Because that which is non-phenomenal cannot be said to be communicating in that way. Therefore, all these forms of phenomenal silence are just a beautiful invocation to That which we Truly Are. And that is why the sages must have said that ‘My highest teaching is silence’. Isn’t it?

Q: The computer screen froze and I didn’t hear that last bit.

A:That’s why the sages have often said that ‘My highest teaching is actually in silence’. They have not said ‘The highest teaching is in the words’. They have not said that the highest teaching is even in the energetic transmission. They said ‘The highest teaching is silence’.

Because words can do a nice clean-up job of bad concepts, a transmission can bring you to the recognition of this Beingness, it can still the mind; but this silence of the sage (Your truest silence) can show that which has never actually been lost. But it is not a phenomenal seeing.

Would you like to add something to that?

Q: [Shakes head ‘No’] [Big smile]

A:It was very beautiful, your sharing. In fact I was enjoying so much hearing that even the words in this deep silence were struggling to arise. [Chuckles] [Whispers]: Very beautiful.

Q:Thank you. Really good to speak with you. Thank you.

A:Same same, my love; same same.

If It Feels Like You Have a Choice, Don’t Believe Your Next Thought

A: Okay, why are we in satsang? Or we can make it more specific, why are you in satsang?

Q:Well, the first thing that came when you said ‘we’ [Laughter] (it’s a little bit different) is that truly we cannot be out of satsang. We can only pretend to be out of Truth. So, we need to clarify, remove the fog from the glasses so to speak.

A: Yes.

Q:And that’s probably the answer to the second question. Every day, or every other day, there is a new fog. There is something supposedly blocking the seeing, the clear seeing.

A:A new block, yes. What form seems to block the seeing? What is the forms of these?

Q:Just thoughts.

A:Just thoughts. So the appearance of a thought, does it become a block?

Q:No, only when believed in.

A:And once we believe in a thought, what does it actually block?

Q:[Laughter] The one who believes in the thought.

A:The one that believes in the thought is which one?

Q:The person.

A:So, what does this person look like before it believes in a thought?

Q: It’s not there.

A:But we just said that the person believes in a thought, so it must be there to believe in it, no? Therefore it cannot be both. So, the person believes in a thought, but the person itself is not there before the belief?

Q: It feels like Consciousness is taking the shape of a person when that belief is…

A:So, now what actually got blocked? So if it is Consciousness that is playing as if or taking the shape (as you say) of a person, has Consciousness now blocked Itself of Itself?

Q:Clear seeing. There is a belief that keeps resurfacing (it’s like the Japanese restaurant analogy, metaphor that you give) and once you start believing a thought all of a sudden you’re eating the whole seven course meal or what not. [Laughter] And once you eat the seven course meal, there is a belief ‘Oh, I lost it’. And that resurfaces.

A: Exactly.

Q:Such that the mere presence of thoughts is believed as an indication, even though it’s known that it’s not. Indication is that there is no clear seeing, but obviously it’s Seen.

A:But even the sages have thoughts. So if having the thought would mean that there is no clear Seeing then that would make it just too difficult; because I have not met anyone who doesn’t have a single thought.

Q:There is a belief that the sage doesn’t pay attention to thoughts, whereas…

A:A sage doesn’t what?

Q: Believe or pay attention to thoughts.

A:Believe, yes. So, it is not the presence of the thoughts but whether they are identified with or believed in that makes the seeming-difference. But what we were talking about was something even more fundamental, which was that even if Consciousness does get identified (believes Itself to be a person) what does it actually block?

Q: It cannot block anything. It’s just a different experience.

A:Yes, yes. Therefore speaking from the same level then, if Consciousness wants to experience Itself as a person, nothing can stop it, And if Consciousness doesn’t want to experience Itself as a person anymore then nothing can make that happen. But as long as you see that nothing fundamental changes, only the appearance (level of appearance of physical matter) in the sense of how this life is experienced.

So then what is satsang? Only a reminder that Consciousness is making to Itself in the play (not that it needs any reminders). Just like everything; most other things in the world are making it believe, or selling the belief that it is our ‘person’. It has also created some play, some parts of the play, which remind itself that it is not a person. And then in the monologue, Consciousness says from one side ‘But what do I do? I am suffering’. And then Consciousness says from the other side ‘It’s just because you’re believing your thoughts’. So, this is the game that Consciousness is playing with Itself when it puts on the personhood hat. Suppose you put a hat on which says ‘Okay’…, (I might get you in trouble in the US) [Chuckles] Suppose you put a hat on that says [Laughter] ‘I love France’. Does that make you a Frenchman?

Q: Francophile maybe; but no, not a Frenchman.

A:Yes. [Laughter] Yes. And you can try to increase the pretense by starting to speak in a French accent, talking about the best French wine; take on all the pretenses but in reality does that really change the fact that you are not French? So, Consciousness has this power to pretend as if it is something limited. But the reality does not change in that. So, the idea of the block is a big part of the pretense. That’s what we are looking at today. Because it can feel like something is really getting in the way and we give more reality to our beliefs if we say that it actually can block something. That’s why I love the word pretending, or pretense a lot more. Because in the word pretending; it is much lighter. It is just a pretend. Just to look at it in this way that makes it not as much of a struggle as it can seems like sometimes. You see this?

Now if we are never blocked (you can only say this from the perspective of Consciousness, and ultimately say this from the perspective of That which is aware of Consciousness)…, but as [your name] these words might not seem to have full resonance. Because if you’re in the Frenchman pretense and I say ‘Oh, they have some nice vineyards in California [Laughter] you’ll say ‘No, no, no. French vineyards are nothing in comparison’. [Laughter, attempting to make a French accent] Now the pretense is not happening. So, from that perspective of the pretending one, then it can seem like a concept. It can seem like a fact that ‘There are no blocks and that you are free already’ itself would sound like a concept. So, if you step back from this pretense and check right now if you’re truly bound in any way, what do you find? [Silence] If you didn’t have a single idea about how…, and you were just to check right now can you show me the bondage or the block?

Q: It’s not possible.

A:It’s not possible. Isn’t that great news? [Laughter] Firstly, you’re searching for Freedom, but when we check for bondage right now we don’t find it. So that itself firstly must be a cause of big celebration, because that which I’m looking for presumably is already here. So, if the Now is like this, what possible trouble can there be? Can we experience a moment which is not Now?

Q:I think what’s happening here is that, there is a movement, this famous oscillation that Guruji [Mooji] talks about between being in ‘formal satsang’ (whether it’s with you, or just reading a book or listening to whomever, other teacher I follow).

A:[Laughter] you can name them, you can take names, we are not shy of…, if you follow Rupert…, I like most of…

Q:Yeah, you know. But then when I’m in activity somehow and I can’t really necessarily draw a line when the pretense begins, and then all of a sudden with the pretense comes the seeker with a bag full of beliefs. ‘Oh, in Consciousness there is nothing; so obviously you are not there Now because you have this agitation in front of you’. Now all of this is happening in a much (I should say) lower volume than before. But I guess maybe there’s still a belief in ‘the magic pill’ kind of

seeker, you know? Once this is Seen, I don’t know if all the conditioning would drop or these questions would become ridiculous; to the extent that it sometimes it feels like there is still a sense of choice, of doership. And sometimes it feels like there is no doership, in the sense that I can’t; like Consciousness takes over. I was planning on doing one thing but it’s not happening. [Laughter] And there is a real opening to that. ‘Okay, I really want to go fully into that’.

[Laughter] But at the same time, a knowing that I don’t have any say in what pace this is going to happen (if at all) and it doesn’t ultimately matter. But there is still some seed in that, I guess, that is believed. So, mostly I just want to put it at your feet.

A:So, when these activities happen, there are usually two ways in which we experience them. One, the happening it seems is just automatic that belief is going to things and the response is coming that way and I’m playing the role of personhood completely in auto pilot mode. It can seem like that. Isn’t it? So many times we pick up guilt about these things, the 1-2 punch, all the ‘multi-course meal’ is like this. It just moved like that and truly there wasn’t the sense of choice at all…, ‘just was so caught up in the situation’ that the sense of belief and everything went. And there can be sometimes where it can seem like a real choice. ‘Okay, these thoughts are coming, saying I must do this, I must confront this, I must say this’. These thoughts are coming like this and it can seem like there is a choice whether to pick them up or just allow them to come and go.

Now, as we have been coming to satsang, the times where it seems like a choice becomes more…, there is more space, more distance; where these times seem more and more. That’s why we allow ourselves to let go more and more, and that’s how things have become lighter than before. Then as these moments become lighter, then you’ll find that even in those times (which seem to be so automatically here) now this sense of choice comes. I can just allow them to come and go. So, as space is opening up for the rest of it, then more space is going for those which our so-called identity seems to be just so reactionary about that we didn’t have a sense of time or space to believe or not to believe. Then more space comes to believe or not believe.

Then you’ll find that in most situations it can feel like there is simple choice whether to get on the bus of these thoughts, or whether to let the bus just come and go. So it will become lighter and lighter in this way. Then you’ll find that that which was so sticky earlier now is losing its stickiness; as Adya [Adyashanti] says the Velcro-thoughts will start to lose their Velcro-ness in some way. They’ll start to become less and less sticky. Then you find that it’s a very, very rare thing which will get you to give it some belief. And there is no 100% in this. Everyone, every expression that I have met, has bought some identity, has bought some story from the mind. The time from which it was bought and the quantity in which it is bought, that keeps reducing, so that it becomes almost momentary. It becomes very much less.

The funny thing with this is that it is very rare when things are picked up. Even this sense of seeming choice starts to dissolve, let go. And that which seemed like the choice I was making, that is also clearly seen; and seen that no it was not a choice, it was just a play of grace, play of Consciousness itself. Because we are realizing there was not a person here anyway.

It’s a virtuous circle in some way, as we continue to make the choice of not believing our thoughts. Whenever; just make that choice. And don’t feel guilty about, don’t buy the guilt- thoughts about the times where it just seemed like you had no choice in the matter anyway. Because many times this second punch, mostly this second punch is much more. [Guilt is the second punch in the 1-2 punch example; punch 1 is ‘it happened’.]

So what are we saying very simply is that there will be moments where it just seemed like it happened; the whole thing. And what is worse is that we believe we have not really found our Self in satsang, that we are not free yet. All these beliefs get bought. What to do? Let go of those at least. Because it is a very natural functioning of Being inside this. That is why I started making so much the distinction between the recognition which is becoming so clear for all of you, and the dropping of all conditioning. Because there can be this idea (which itself is an idea) that ‘The instant the recognition of Who I Am should happen, and that in that instant all conditioning should be dropped’. Now when it doesn’t play like that, we start questioning our own recognition.

There is no way when you answer the question ‘Are you aware now?’ that the recognition has not happened actually. If you are answering this from a place of looking, then there is no way the recognition is not happening. So, the recognition is there! But we question our recognition because the conditioning is still continuing to play. What to do about this conditioning is only this: whenever it feels like I have a choice, don’t believe your next thought.

[Laughter] Maybe I should just add this: Instead of just saying ‘Don’t believe your next thought’ I should just say ‘Whenever it feels like there is a choice, then don’t believe your next thought’.

Because when I say ‘Don’t believe your next thought’ maybe there is a lot of potential for guilt, that ‘I’m still believing the next thought; I’m still there, I’m not free’. So maybe we should just say like this from now on: ‘If it feels like there is a choice, then in that case, don’t believe your next thought’. If it doesn’t feel like that, then in any case there is nothing to do; it is just going to happen anyway. So, that I feel will make it lighter.

Q:Yeah, I think a lot of that resonates with me as well. In the grand scheme, I can’t say that even in moments supposedly there was some guilt even bought; or it’s still a flow. There’s much more space. Like I’m intending to do one thing and some other thing happens and there’s so much more space than before. I can see that. But I can see the energy in the conditioning. I’m what Adya [Adyashanti] would call a ‘relatively functional ego’ so managing my life. And it seems (perhaps it’s redundant to even interpret it, but it seems) like somehow there is a re-orientation and trying to lose that functional ego and control of supposedly-life and daily activities. When the activity is mundane, then there is definitely a flow and no thought, if I’m cooking or whatever. But there are some places, I guess, where there is fertile ground. What you were saying before. I think the root is the sense of choice. Because when there is a flow there is no sense of choice, or it really doesn’t matter; like if I’m cooking and I’m opening the refrigerator to pick up whatever is there, there is no strategy on what vegetable is going to go in the pot.

Whereas in other things the mind says ‘Oh, wait a second. You should think. There are two ways or three ways to go, or four ways’. And that easily blooms into a whole symphony of thoughts.

A:Yes. What you find, what I find mostly is that choice comes between ‘this and this’. And just an inner clarity is there, that ‘It’s not really an option at all. This seems like clearly what feels like could be done’. So, this inner clarity emerges. And when that inner clarity doesn’t emerge what I usually do is I ask everyone else [Laughter] ‘What do you feel we should do?’ Many of you have seen like this, in satsang also. So, if it’s not clear, I ask someone else. Because I know ultimately, all is grace; so even that seeming-burden of picking up these choices (then contemplating them, evaluating them) seems like it is too much, So, I just ask someone. Now if there is no one who can be asked about it then I just let it emerge on its own. Then, although it might seem like a choice, it really isn’t. I just make this seeming-choice of not choosing until it is completely clear from the heart that ‘This is the way to go’. Then that makes it quite light.

When these conflicting ideas about choice come, then to get involved in that and try to pick and choose, and evaluate those decisions…, that seems quite meaningless mostly here. So I just ask my family; whatever they feel in their heart to do, I’m okay with that. Even if their choice is coming from the mind, I’m actually okay to go with that because I know ultimately it’s all one flow of grace. I just can’t trouble myself to go to my mind and say ‘Okay, option A is 50% percent better than option B and what should be done?’ [Laughter] It seems like too much work! I’m too lazy for all that. Then if there is actually nobody who can even guide like that, in that way, I just leave it until it emerges. And many times it’s also seen that what was decided on the sense of this was the way to go. This feeling is there at the last minute; the feeling was ‘But no, the feet are moving in the opposite direction’. And that itself shows you that this seeming-choice making, decision making, actually is really nothing. Because in spite of choices, many times you’ve just done the opposite of what was decided.

Q:Yeah, it’s kind of like that. I mean sometimes I feel like there’s still some mental noise going on and decision-making, but a deeper sense of keeping quiet and just waiting for that intuition to come. But of course, sometimes it’s not (or at least for me here) it’s not always clear; that intuition (or at least it’s not coming in, let’s say, the timeframe that the mind thought of).

A:Yes, yes. Because it doesn’t. Which is actually a great blessing that it doesn’t dance to the tunes of the mind. Just imagine if the intuition were to start being a servant to the mind…., mind saying ‘Okay, intuition, what you got?’ And the intuition is standing up and nodding ‘Yes, yes, Master, this is what I have’. Then it is the reverse position, when the mind gets like this genie that should answer all requests and say ‘Yes, yes’. Isn’t it? So intuition doesn’t dance to the tunes of the mind, like ‘Oh, I really need my intuition now, where is it?’ It will become completely quiet; because it is not meant for that. In fact, as I’ve seen it here, I found that to go to intuition about things that are just seemingly-personal, just like this worldly phenomena, that the impulse to go to intuition for that is very minimal actually. That intuition is this voice which is speaking these words in satsang now. And to go to it for something sort of very selfish, decision making, seems like, just feels like, it is not what the purpose of this intuition is for. It is

not meant to make the life of Ananta better. It is just meant to share this; sharing in satsang, sharing of the intuitive truths which are being discovered here, sharing of these insights. And most of you know anyway that I don’t pray for anything specific usually. My prayer is usually ‘Let my Father’s will be done; in whichever way he wants to is completely fine’. Because to let the intuition or Satguru dance to the voice of this mind would be a blatant mis-use. But it doesn’t even dance to it so we don’t even have to worry about it. So just to put it simply, what we are saying is: If this is personal, don’t expect intuition to necessarily help you.

Q: So, [Laughter] it doesn’t matter basically.

A:Yes. This sense of choice making itself will go. To be honest and say that if one day it felt like there was no intuitive guidance felt for anything anymore, even that would be completely fine here, because I know that every single movement of every blade of grass is happening only through his will.

Q:I think one thing that I interpreted or misinterpreted from Rupert (that might have been causing too much havoc or noise) is when he talks about the outward path and living from your deepest love and understanding. I think for me it’s very easy for the mind to take over on that and say ‘I’ll figure out what’s the deepest love and understanding, just give me a second’ kind of thing. [Laughter]

A:[Laughter] So, let’s presume for a minute that it was not Rupert’s guidance (because I don’t want to saying anything disrespectful to anything what these beautiful teachers are sharing).

There can be this too much pressure. So, if this was your question ‘So, how do I live this?’ then I would say ‘Don’t try to live this, because nobody can really live this. Because trying to live this is coming from this sort of personal place and you really cannot live this. It has to live itself’.

Therefore when Guruji [Mooji] says ‘Hand over your existence to existence’ this is what is meant. It is not that we are trying to now live from this ‘place of existence’. It is just a simple handing over, that ‘It is not my concern anymore. Now it’s all your problem, Highest place, lowest place; I don’t understand any of this. I’m just going to allow your Presence to move’.

It is not that in every moment I am doing this audit and saying ‘Okay, is your Presence moving? Or is mine? Is there too much person here?’ It’s not like that; that’s a very constricted state. We just let go of it in that way. And we’re not trying to ‘live it’ because trying to ‘live it’ would seem like too much pressure, too much burden. The one that has been living it is this Beingness itself, Consciousness itself; and Consciousness is playing the game in this way. But don’t you take on the burden. See what is really happening:

Awareness is exhibiting Itself in a phenomenal form of Consciousness, Then putting on the pretense of personhood,

Then this person is trying to behave as if it is this Consciousness (if not Awareness itself).

This is too much, too much pollution! [Laughter] So, it is not like that. Because many times it can be that spirituality brings on additional burden of trying to personally live ‘as if’ we are Consciousness.

Q:Yeah, there’s been that a lot. The mind picking up what a sage should do or should not do, or pretending to be somebody spiritual, or whatever.

A:God-pretending-to-be-a-person-who-is-then-pretending-to-be-god is the biggest burden that anyone can carry. Therefore, coming to the truth is removing this sense of personal existence, personal identity, in the first place. Then all pretense is stopped. So in some way or the other it is said (many times it is said) ‘Fake it till you make it’. But this ‘fake it’ is a lot of burden.

[Laughter] If you are faking it to try to be god, then the person pretending to have got it, and now pretending to move as if it is god…, is too much. Just drop all of this.

Don’t try to live in any particular way. Because even if you were to tell me here that ‘Ananta, you must live from your deepest place’…, oh just thinking about that is like taking on something which will become additional pressure. If you try to live like an awakened being, if you try to live like an enlightened person, it’s so much struggle, so much burden. I actually wouldn’t wish a burden like that on anyone.

I won’t say you must live your life in any which way. And we have beautiful examples where every expression of every sage has been so different. Isn’t it? And it would be so confusing to try and emulate any one of them, because some sages have been full of love and kindness in their outward expression, some have been so angry in their outward expression, some have been completely silent in their outward expression, some have just been talking and talking in their outward expression; so what would it mean to try and emulate that? Then it cannot mean the outward. Then it would mean that every moment you have to listen to what your intuition is saying. But if that comes like this, like a mental guidance, that ‘I must listen to what my intuition is saying’ then when it doesn’t happen (because it cannot happen all the time; unless we drop the mind completely there will be moments in which something mental will be picked up but) if there is so much about living in a certain way then that would come with a lot of guilt, a lot of remorse about picking up from the mind, a lot of trouble about ‘Oh, I didn’t do it right. I’m supposed to live in this authentic way, it’s too much pressure.

For me it’s easier to say that we can drop this mind, we can not believe our thoughts. But even if belief is happening, all of that, still belief and the movement of this expression is always in accordance with God’s will; nothing can move out of it. It’s all God’s play anyway, So, anything which gives you the potential for more guilt, let’s keep it simple; anything which gives you the potential for more guilt, safely drop that. Either it is a misinterpretation or it’s better to drop something that we have heard in that way. Anything that you hear also in satsang, if it gives you potential for more guilt (like if ‘Don’t believe your next thought’ ends up making you feel guilty more and more) then better we even drop that. Because these pointings are meant to dislodge all this stuff, not to give you additional things to be guilty about.

Now, in the same way, this is what happens when we give it to the mind. The greatest sages have come, the greatest Masters have come, prophets have come; Jesus spoke very beautifully but now Christianity can become like the biggest cause of guilt for many, for a lot of humanity. It is not because of what Jesus says but because how the mind has interpreted it over generations. So, it’s become what, many Christians have called the religion of guilt. That was not Jesus’ intent.

Q:There’s a lot more space and understanding now of ‘I don’t know anything’ and it’s so, I mean, looking from Consciousness so to speak, it’s simple and it’s obvious; there’s no knowledge. And it seems like every time there is a strong conditioning to get more conceptual knowledge (not necessarily related to satsang or teachings but even that seems like just a burden because) it serves again that guilt trip of ‘Oh, I should behave in such and such a way’.

A:Yes, yes, yes. So, I feel like we have a beautiful litmus test now; if you sense that this has some potential to make you guilty. Because somehow maybe in this expression, in this life, something is more attracted to this feeling guilty sort of thing. So, this is a good litmus test: If you sense something you pick up from satsang or you hear from anyone…, but actually what is happening is it’s giving you some excuse to feel more guilty about yourself…, then you can safely drop it. There are enough pointings out there, there are enough questions, inquiries, that will point you straight to the truth, without you having to pick up this burden of doing something properly or not doing properly and feeling guilty about it. And sometimes even those things which have made us feel guilty, when I say drop them, there might be this feeling ‘No, maybe I can hold on to this one’. Actually we can also feel like guilt has become like a comfort zone; guilt itself a zone of comfort. I say ‘Okay, drop any pointing which has this potential of making you feel guilty’ then something might feel like ‘Oh, he’s making me give up all my candy’.

The point is to come to this place where we see that ‘I really don’t know anything. I tried this, I tried this, but none of this works, from the perspective of this personal identity’. Now, if your deepest urge is at this point of time was to get something for this personal identity, then you’ll find many things which might seemingly work for that one in the play. There are many self-help teachings. You can have all of these things which will seem like you can make this personal identity into a giant of a man or something like that. [Laughter] Awaken the giant within you or something. So, like he had earlier said very beautifully, that if within the functional life, you want to play in this personal way then there could be a lot of local truths in that. He was talking about programming; there could be a lot of local variables which might be true in that particular function. But if we stepped out [away] from this intent to operate as a person and are moving into our universality, then the global variables must become all tending to zero. We must empty out all our ideas, And this not knowing anything is very, very beautiful.

We might even feel like ‘Not only don’t I know anything, I’m not even understanding anything that he is saying’. Many of you beat yourself up when that happens. ‘Oh, when I came to satsang I was understanding everything that he was saying’. Not really, you were creating a basket of concepts and you were creating a beautiful house of cards full of spiritual ideas. You were

making this house-of-cards of spirituality. And once this gets blown away…, ‘It’s so frustrating now! As I’ve been in satsang longer I just feel like I don’t know anything. I’m not even understanding any word that you’re saying’. [Laughter] But this is a very auspicious part of the process. It can seem frustrating to the mind, saying ‘My house-of-cards has been blown up!’ We didn’t expect for it to happen; because these words were not meant to be understood in that way. In fact, they were only meant to demolish all of our concepts so they are doing their job.

As we get more and more okay with not knowing anything, then you’ll find that life becomes an expression of this, on its own without trying to do it. As you live your life not knowing, just try…, [Laughter] not as again an opportunity to make yourself feel guilty (‘Oh, I was supposed to live as if I’m not knowing’). [Laughter] Not like this. This inherently comes with any pointing. So, if anything gives you that guilt, then better to forget about all of it. But if you find that it’s possible just to live our life without knowing anything at all, you might find that it becomes very light. And yet everything can seem to happen. (Maybe this was the place that Rupert was referring to.) It cannot be that to live authentically it can come from a place of mental knowing; not even from a place of mentally trying to live authentically.

Have I confused you completely now? Or is there something left to confuse? [Laughter]

Q:No, it’s just the mind is still sticky with ‘Okay, so what does this actually mean? [Laughter] So maybe you have confused me. [Laughter]. It keeps coming back with whatever decision point there is supposedly. But what I heard was ‘Just keep quiet’ and…

A:Ok, so let’s dive a little deeper into this. Why to keep quiet and to let it flow? Because and to presume ‘I have a decision to make’…, which ‘I’ am I presuming myself to be?

Q: The person.

A:The person. And we found that there is no person that exists; we looked and looked. Therefore this presumption of being an individual decision maker is a fallacy. The only end to this ‘God’s will vs so-called free will’ debate is to see there is nobody apart from God, apart from Consciousness, who would have any will in the first place. Therefore God’s will must be free will. It is not two but One.

But also, practically speaking, I said: Isn’t it that there is a sense there is a decision to be made? And sometimes great clarity is Seen, that actually it is not really a decision. It is just like a game being played and I already know that ‘This is what feels right’. So, this sense can come sometimes. We can call it intuition. If that sense is not there, at least what I do is I ask someone around me, my family, the sangha. If it doesn’t seem appropriate to ask them this question or they’re not there, or they don’t have an answer, then I lose that idea that I have to decide something. And sometimes I just wake up knowing ‘This is what it feels like. It is the right next step’. There’s a sense of clarity which will emerge on its own. And if it doesn’t emerge right till

the last moment (sometimes it feels like there is no clarity about what I’m going to do or say next, and yet when you find yourself in a situation) then your feet move, your mouth moves.

If this Presence can speak from this space with such beauty, then I’m sure it can figure out what to do with these small decisions in our life. And what also used to happen here was the words would come out from this mouth and there was a hearing of these words and something was (the mind still was) going, saying ‘Wow! This is pretty good stuff ‘. [Laughter] I have to be honest and admit that. When the sharing started and the words would come, there was something that was still evaluating the words ‘Not bad, not bad’. [Laughter]. So, all of this is part of the normal human play. Nothing to worry so much about that.

Q:And going back perhaps to the original question you asked me. One of the decision points that supposedly is coming was how to “architect” life. And it was seen that it’s complete rubbish in the sense that ‘Oh, I should find this kind of job so I have enough hours just to be in satsang. It sounded very romantic for a little bit, maybe an hour or two, and then I was like [Laughter] ‘If I was meant to work (I don’t know) 50 hours a week then I’m meant to work (I don’t know) then that’s kind of what it is. But it is my joy to be in this form of satsang, fully knowing that satsang never ends.

A:Yes. This is very good, very good. And like Guruji [Mooji] says ‘Life is not vindictive in any way’. So, whatever is the best response to what our inner urge is, that will show up for us in our life; whether we recognize it in that moment or not. As we look back at our lives, we mostly see this, that ‘This was just what I needed at that point of time and it showed up’. The same acceptance is not usually for what is appearing now. [Chuckles] But more and more, as we start looking at it and seeing that everything in the past has been such a beautiful flow; even the hard wax which I got from life was exactly what was needed…, when it is Seen like this, then you start also trusting what is appearing now. And we’re not trying to micro-manage any of this anymore. We have really no tools as a person because we don’t exist in that way. But we have no tools to manage this life.

I used to joke earlier and say it’s like with the twig we’re trying to control the flow of the river. We don’t know anything. Tomorrow some crazy dictator can explode in a nuclear test or something. It’s not so far from reality what I’m saying [Laughter] from this so called reality. It can just be that they were doing a nuclear test and the reaction went out of control (the control is a small minor detail) [Laughter] and it’s all ‘Game over’. Finished.

For many, this example can sound very despondent almost. But for me, there is a great sense of freedom in that; [Laughter] in this sense of what are we trying to control and manage. That’s why as Bhagavan [Ramana Maharshi] said if there is a sense that we have a choice, then make a choice not to go with the mind. That initial portion is very important now, we are discovering.

The Body is a Beautiful Instrument, But It’s Not Me

Q:I have this question actually. So, basically, technically, if I am not a person here at all, then this is just a body. Because I think it’s only a problem if it is my body and I identify; like thinking how my body should be, it’s health and what it should eat and all of those things. But if there is not even a person here, then this is just a body. Isn’t it?

A:‘Just a body’ has the sense that it’s not something beautiful. I’d like to refer to the body as a beautiful instrument. If we were to enter into this realm and we did not have bodies, or maybe we had a very few molecules, just a bare-bones sort of body literally, and then we had to go to a superstore to get this body; then you look at all the features and the functioning of this body and you see that ‘Wow! It’s quite an instrument’. And I’d be willing to pay big money for this body. It’s quite something. It’s quite some technology.

So, it is not Me. It is not Me; enough to see this. Why I’m making these points is that very often in spirituality the body is put down in some way and many times it is blamed for a lot of things when it doesn’t deserve the blame. It is just a simple, beautiful instrument actually.

Q:So, the reason I was thinking about it is because for me, at least here (I mean I don’t think there is a ‘me’ but I’m so used to talking like that) exercise is just something that the body does. It’s actually not something hated or disliked; it just Is. So, when I started contemplating more about the body, does that mean that I’m attached to the body? Because I know that there is no person here. It’s beyond even knowledge; it’s like a deep insight that no person is here. [Chuckles] And really this morning, it was like ‘Holy crap. Who is driving this car?’

It was not a problem; it was fine. I was totally driving the car; crying to a Justin Bieber song (which is horrible but I really like it) but at the same time I’m like ‘Oh, my God, there’s never been a person here; ever’. Then the mind immediately came and said ‘But listen, you like to exercise, so does that mean that, you know…? Like what is this realization? It doesn’t mean anything’. So, the mind immediately came and attacked. And I was like ‘You know what? I’m going to ask’. And I almost didn’t come tonight. But I’m like ‘No, I’m going to show up and I’m going to ask this question’.

A:Yeah. Very good. So, it’s very good what you say. You say that ‘I see that there is no individual ‘me’ like this anyway, and this body is just functioning in a very normal, natural sort of way. And if exercise is happening, then exercise is happening and it’s good. Does it mean that I’m over-attached to the body?’

Let’s take the car example again. So, for most of us, the car is not Me. The car is an instrument that we have that does a particular task. It’s an instrument and it’s not ‘me’. It doesn’t mean that I don’t give it for servicing, I don’t take care of the car. You see? So, all this can happen. But for some of us, our identities our deeply in the car. So, if something scratches their car, for example

on the road, then they’re more furious than if somebody were to scratch their body even. Some can be so attached to their instrument. So, that is something we just have to look at and to see whether ‘Am I caring for this instrument and wanting to make sure it is functioning right, without it being Me anywhere?’ And if it’s clear that ‘No, no, it is not Me, it is just an instrument and it is being taken care of naturally’ then no trouble. Then, no trouble.

Q:It happened this morning. So the other thought was…, I guess that for so long the feeling has been here of identifying with the body. I mean obviously. Because if you think of [her name] or of a person, you automatically think of the body because that’s physically present and you’re like ‘Okay, that’s me’. Like if somebody were to say ‘Okay, that’s her, right?’ So, the point is that technically, I guess, we’re all bigger than that, in a way. We’re not just the body; or we’re not the body. So, does that mean that Consciousness just decides to just take on any body? Anyway, the whole purpose of this is to shed any attachment to the movie scenes that may have happened in this life which is like a storybook and have a deep sense of ‘Oh, that happened to me which is really bad’ or ‘This happened to me which is really good’.

A:[Chuckles]. It’s good. So, a few points you made, which were, firstly, there can be a sense that because something happened to the body, it happened to me. But if we look at this even a little more closely, we find that ‘Okay, something happened to the body when I was five years old, something happened to the body when it was in school, something happened to the body in later years and something is happening to the body now’. But if we look at the body itself, every cell of this body which is here now is different from every cell in that body when we were five years old or ten years old. So, there is nothing in the body which is resenting or feeling pride about something that happened. It is only coming for this sense that ‘It happened to me, as a person which is called [her name]’…, which is where the ‘something happening to me’ comes from’.

Now, you are absolutely right when you say that in terms of the phenomenal evidence that this sense is here that ‘This body is the me. What do you mean, there’s no me? This body is the me’. But when we look at most of the things which have happened in this life, which have bothered us in some way, most of those things have not had anything to do with the body. The body is not concerned about (like I say) if there is money in the bank, the body is not concerned about how a neighbor is behaving. The body is not concerned with any of this.

So, with this mind, we are giving evidence of an existence of a ‘me’ by pointing to the body, saying ‘See. I exist [as a person]’. It is not true. Because the things that the mind makes us feel (proud, guilty, regretful about mostly) have nothing to do with the body. So, this ‘me’ that we have been carrying about, in our belief in a separate existence; that is the root of all this trouble. Even this one mostly doesn’t say ‘I am the body’. It says ‘This is my body’. So, who is the one that claimed that ‘This is my body’? This false owner of our belief. This non-existent owner of our life, which only the mind is representing. Even the body is not representing it; only the mind is representing it. That is the one that we are giving up our belief on. Then we see that the true owner of this body, of this life, is Consciousness Itself, is Being Itself, is God Itself.

There is No Sense of Bondage in this Very Moment

Q:I was just thinking about [what you said earlier today] and looking at whether there is bondage in this moment. And there is no bondage here, when I look in this moment. The mind (Oh, my goodness) [Laughs] the mind has been on a rampage lately throwing out every negative thing it can think of that it has always gotten me with over the years [Like] ‘Well, you may be fine now, but you can’t keep this kind of life going. I mean, you have to be more…, whatever’. ‘In this moment, yeah sure; but you should be saving money for retirement (whatever) or not going to satsang so much. But really, truly, everything is wonderful, splendid, in this moment.

A:Yes. [Nods] That is why it is so beautiful that we only experience life in this moment, right Now. And really it is the best news because unless I reach out for it, unless I believe it, there is no story, there is no conditioning, there is no identity. Yes, it can be that, in the moment, the voice which sells you this identity appears. But just seeing it like this, we can also see that it can be allowed to just come and go. But even if it is bought; just ‘Now’ …, already it is gone.

That is why this pretense is actually so much hard work and effort because you need to keep juicing it up. You see? You need to give it more and more belief, feed it more and more thoughts. So, really, this false identity is the one that is fighting a losing battle.

Because in the Now, this Now, how we will experience starts completely fresh, free from all identity.

It’s a very beautiful secret; one that the mind will resist in a very big way, because all of its efforts are gone now.

That is why, when you are asked to check on whether there is any bondage really Now, we come back to say ‘No, there isn’t’.

But what about the future? The future will also be experienced just Now.

And no matter what our material circumstances are, no matter what else is happening, you will find that (in any moment when you check, you will find that) you are free from any sense of bondage.

So, nothing really can happen to you. And this actually brings us to the simple neutrality, the simple allowing to let all things happen and emerge as they might. There is not a resistance or an aversion to making money, nor a special desire to make money. It can just unfold on its own.

To see this is a great source of strength; to see that no matter what my material circumstances are, what I will experience in every moment Now is complete freedom.

The Invitation is to Really Look Deeply

Let me say what my expectation for you is (because I keep hearing expectations that everyone has for me…, [Chuckles] ‘Give me freedom, take away this, give me that’). So can I say, before we start this time, [after the break of 10 days due to Mooji retreat] what I want you to do? And it’s more of an invitation actually. The invitation is to really look deeply. Just to Look. Look without interpretation and judgement as much as possible. Look without conclusions. Can we do this? Just to look. And to discover whether this looking is all there is; or whether there is a deeper looking which is looking even at this, looking at Itself. If this attention is all there is; or if there is awareness even of this attention.

Just to look like this. And no running to conclusions, no running to debating, no running to any sort of judgment about ourself, the rest of the sangha or the rest of the world. Just to look like this.

Because what happens when we are in satsang also many times (and in the rest of life) is that we are running away from this looking. Our conclusions also are a ‘running away’. Conclusions are a very tricky; running away from just looking because there can be a sense of fear of wobbliness which comes in this looking and then we’re quick to come to a conclusion ‘Yes, this is what I saw. Yes, this is the truth; I got it! No, then I lost it’. You see? Even the getting it, losing it; all of this game is part of the same running away from What Is. And some of us have been exploring like this.

So, can we say now, that this time my expectation from you [Chuckles] (It’s not real, but I want to say it) [Laughs] is that we just look? All of us look together at what is going on. What is this really about? And we continue our way of questioning and say ‘What is it that is really going on? What do I want?’ To be able to look like this and to see…, ‘Is it that I truly just want to Be?’ Because many will say like this ‘I just want to exist’. But nothing is stopping your existence. To exist, what is it that we need to just Be? What is it that we need?

It comes automatically, isn’t it? Beingness. It comes on its own. So, if it was just the will to Be, the will to exist, then there is nothing that we need. Consciousness is being conscious right now. Isn’t it?

Is it just a will to Be, or do we want something?

Do we want to feed this sense of Beingness something specific?

We said that ‘To just Be, nothing is needed’. Then where does need come from? Need must come from a specific idea that this Beingness needs this additional quality or something phenomenal for it to become better. But in our looking, have we seen that Being actually becomes better or less better? Can it be? Being is just Being.

So what is it about? Is it possible that this Being Itself is playing one big game with us/with Itself? This game of pretending to be something personal; and this game of dropping the seeming-sense of ‘person’? Is it possible?

I also feel like I must not make so many conclusions. [Chuckles] Advaita is very absolute-ist, so it’s very easy to just say ‘This. This. This’. Sometimes it is helpful, and sometimes it just becomes another concept. So, what if I just propose ideas to you, concepts to you, and then you explore those concepts for yourself and look deeply?

‘Could it be that this is true?’

‘Why would Consciousness want to do this game?’

‘What is it getting out of it?’

‘Why would it want to take all the trouble of the pretense of personhood, and then all the trouble of the dropping of the pretense?’

‘Even if it is the urge to drop the pretense, why does it have to go through all this rigmarole of satsang for years and years?’

‘If it wants to drop the pretense, it should just drop it’. [Chuckles]

So, look; before we come to any conclusions, before we want to say that ‘Yes, yes. This is how it is. This is what it is’.

So, what have we said? We said that ‘If it was just about wanting to exist, then nothing can prevent that wanting; nothing can prevent that existing’. And when there is tiredness of this existence also, then sleep comes. We go from this time and space into something which is timeless. So, it is immaterial there whether we say we slept for one second or for a million years. As long as there is no urge to experience or exist, it doesn’t arise again. (We call it an ‘urge’ but I don’t know what the accurate term is.) But when the urge is back, then again this Being comes into existence and the so-called day happens, our waking state happens.

So, if this is all there is, just the urge to exist, then that is fulfilled on its own. So, surrender must be this, just to say that ‘All I want is to just Be. I don’t want to direct the flow of this day in any way’. Let’s not even say ‘Life’ because we don’t even know anything about life. This might be the only day we experience. To direct the flow of this day is the opposite of surrender. Because just to Be must be just a simple surrender. Being already IS.

What I’m Saying is that We Are the Same Fundamentally

[Someone asked: ‘Ananta, how is it for you?’

Then someone made a joke asking ‘Yeah, do you have any super-powers?’ and laughter happened until this next question came]

Q: Can you tell me how a master lives?

A:I don’t know. I can tell you what seemingly-changed here, without using any labels like

‘master’ or anything. What seemingly-changed here (and I’ve said this often) is that it seemed like before this change happened I would go into every situation believing the mantra ‘What’s in it for me?’ So, everywhere (everyone) I was going to, I was interested in those situations where there was a sense of a ‘me’ getting something from them; from the situation. Even when I was meeting people, it was more about ‘What am I getting from him? What am I getting from her? What am I getting?’ So, life seemed to be rooted in this mantra ‘What’s in it for me?’ This was the primary intent, to try and get something out of this life.

Now this voice has settled down. Now it doesn’t feel like I walk into situations with this sense of trying to grasp at something, trying to get something. It seems a lot lighter. And that is another way that I say that our vision becomes more global. Somebody here said the other day ‘But you’re still seeing through these two eyes; yes?’ I say [Chuckles] the senses still function the way they used to function but the sense of focus doesn’t seem to be on that which I feel I can get something from. So, everything becomes lighter, everything becomes brighter; or at least seems to have become brighter. Because also we say that when our attention is so much into our thoughts and we’re trying to engage in the outer world, it can seem like the vision becomes blurry.

You can try to do that right now also. Try to think of something clearly and pay attention to something outside, an object outside. You will find that some blurriness will happen, both in terms of the thought and the outside external vision. This blurriness seems to have reduced to a great extent, so everything seems much more light and bright.

There seems to be much more time. Many times when I interact with some of you it can feel like you’re not listening because you’re contemplating what you’re going to say next. Already the mind starts functioning in that way and attention gets distracted towards that. For a master, it seems like they’re not worried about that at all; they’re just allowing the flow to flow spontaneously. That’s why they can be completely with you in the interaction…, (mostly; it’s always good to not put any 100% about things).

So, what does this mean? This ‘What’s in it for me?’ actually is a very subtle form of desire, isn’t it? Because this desire is also an amplified, magnified form of the same ‘What’s in it for me? What are the experiences I want from life? What is it that I desire?’ So, this sense of desire

seems to get very light. We’re not asking; making specific requests from the Universe or giving specific orders to say, you know…

So, many have this misconception also, that once you are free you can just command the Universe to give you this or to give you that. Everyone also grew up reading some kind of stories like that. But you find that there is nothing specific that you really want from this life. So, you find that those kind of desires settle down.

What is the second mantra which is the mantra of the mind? ‘Now, what should I do?!’ the first is ‘What’s in it for me?’ and the second is ‘What should I do?’

So, this ‘What should I do’ mostly with the dissolution of doership, this sense of ‘What should I do?’ also becomes very light. Both are inter-related in a very strong way, but this ‘What’s in it for me?’ and ‘What should I do?’ starts to become very light.

The rest of life remains pretty regular. This body is this body. I’ve not got the ability to project this body into some railway station. [Chuckles] If I want to pick up somebody from the airport, I still have to get in a cab and get there. The senses seem to be working normally.

Okay. Importantly also, I find that after some time, there was the arising of this voice that speaks. This voice that speaks in satsang was different from the voice which was usually speaking through this mouth. And when it first started speaking through this mouth, there was a great sense of reverence, even here, to this voice. When it started coming, first there was a sense of ‘Wow. This is great stuff’. (I have to admit that.) So when this mouth started being used by the intuitive Presence, there was also the mind which was still kicking around saying ‘Wow. This is good stuff!’

There is a development of trust in this voice. So, after the 600, 700 satsangs that we’ve had, I find that this voice can be completely trusted to share this truth, so-called truth, of satsang. The company of the truth is shared in words through the Presence of this voice; which is not the person’s voice, which is not Ananta’s voice, it is my Father’s [Guruji Mooji’s] voice.

So, I feel one of the greatest gifts in this life has been the arising of this voice here, my Father’s voice here. This has so much reverence that is felt here.

To put it simply, the dropping of desire and doership (these D’s which are troublesome, the ego- D’s, desire and doership) and the arising of the intuitive voice is what seems to have changed here.

[To the questioner]: No other supernatural abilities. [Smiles]

Q: Too much love arises…

A:You’re going to make me cry now. [Silence] [Hand on heart]

I feel most importantly what I want to tell you is that there is no difference. We are the same. We are One, fundamentally, of course. That is why this is Advaita. But even in our phenomenal functioning, fundamentally we are the same.

It’s just that most of humanity seems to be believing itself to be something that doesn’t exist [a person]. And all of us have that power. Then there are some that are not believing themselves to be that which doesn’t exist. That is It, actually.

You see what I’m saying? If we can keep it simple like that. Because the point of satsang is to reduce the seeming-distance between us. I don’t want to tell you things which make you feel like ‘Oh, but that is too far from me because I still have desire, I still feel like I’m the doer’. You can feel like that if you hear me say things like ‘The desire reduces and doer-ship reduces…’

So, rather than focusing on that, I’ve given you a pointer which does ALL of this on its own, which is: As we are not believing the false, then all the truth is revealing itself on its own.

And what is the voice of the false? It’s only the mind; which is also Consciousness and yet it is the ‘trickster’ part of Consciousness [Chuckles] designed in the way to make us feel that we are personally involved in this game.

So, as we’re letting go of this voice, that’s all that is seemingly-needed for the game.

Burning the Conditioning of Fear for our Children

Q:I don´t want to hide anymore. I don´t know what to say, but I feel to come up. Yesterday I wrote something on Heart Altar and it is still here and there is still the feeling here that I can´t drop it completely. On the other side the mind tells me ‘Oh, come on, it´s nothing’ and stuff like ‘You don´t have to come up, it´s all good; all will be sorted out by itself’. You know? And I don´t know what to say actually, but I don´t want to hide anymore.

A: Yes.

Q: I don´t know what to do.

A:Yes. So, let me share a little bit about what you are speaking about. So, there was a sense that, the experiences that we went through in our lives as children (or something like this) now we don´t want our children to experience the same thing. And actually in the trying to protect them sometimes we can take it too far.

[Speaking to sangha] This is what was bothering her also; that in trying to protect them from things that could happen in the world we take our protective instinct too far (is the feeling that she had) that she took it a bit too far. And that´s why maybe the children are more fearful then they should be or she is experiencing more fear.

Q:I am sorry, I am even in this controlling thing. It´s somehow controlling and it doesn´t feel natural anymore, what is here and also with the kids. So, you summarize it very beautifully.

A:Thank you. So, what to do now that something had revealed itself and it still seems to have some life? Actually, it is grace which has showed us; because many times we go through our entire life and we don´t see the conditioning, we don´t see the tendencies which are operating. We only go through life with the sense of righteousness. But here what is happening is that through the grace of satsang, through the Satguru´s grace, you are able to see that maybe this is what the tendency is which is playing here, the conditioning which is playing here.

Then the point comes that ‘Okay, but I saw it and it is still not going, it is still not that light, it is still not dropped’. And the mind wants to come in and say ‘No, no, it´s dropped now. Forget it’. Things like this. But actually when something like this reveals itself we must allow for it to burn. We must allow ourselves to feel vulnerable, to feel scared, to feel guilty. All these sensations will come. Don´t try to fight it away. Because we are talking about these long term tendencies, this long term conditioning, you see.

So, allow yourself to burn in this fire. Don´t run away from it too soon. And you’ll find that actually it is true that in your seeing it, it is losing its power. But we don´t have to expect it to be in a finger-snap. It can take some time, it can take a few days for it to settle, for us to see.

Because it´s a beautiful realization actually. And one day you will be very grateful that you were able to see this. And the mind will come and say ‘No, no, it´s too late, it´s too late’. It´s not too late; it´s never too late. It is beautiful whenever it happens. So, as we see ourselves in this way (and I was talking to some other mothers also) in that, as these tendencies are being seen, and in the light of your seeing, they will be dissolved. It might take some time. It´s okay.

Then you’ll find that your children are finding the blessing of having an un-associated being as their mother, having a courageous mother who is open to look at all of these things. Because it takes some courage. So, I am very happy for your children actually, because although these might be some tough times right now, you´ll find the truth of this grace and you´ll find much more openness and fearlessness in your relationships with each other. That is where true love can blossom, you see. Otherwise, if you are just coming from a place of fear all of the time then it is not love; it is more of ownership, it is more of fear and guilt.

So, now you see this. Now don´t run from this. Allow it to burn. I am with you through this. Nothing which is real will be burned. Allow all of this to burn itself. Then you’ll find that very soon the fuel for this burning is running out because you’re not feeding it with your concepts, your ideas. All of our past ideas are being burned now. We are here for this, to allow this conditioning to burn. Sometimes slow fire, sometimes intense heat but we are not to run from this situation. It´s an unfolding and we must allow this unfolding. [Silence]

I don’t want to give you any reassurance. Because if I give you reassurance then it seems like I take the fire out of the burning. [Chuckles] Sometimes you must allow this fire to burn, because all that is burning like this is beautiful; because it´s maybe lifetimes worth of conditioning And it´s breaking away a deep cycle of conditioning, then future conditioning and then it can go on endlessly, even in the phenomenal play. But I can tell you that if you allow this to unfold, to just remain with the witnessing of it, then the kids (and the world actually) is very lucky to be in your Presence because you had the courage to let this come and let it go.

The Seeming-Paradoxes of Satsang Reveal Neutrality

You know, actually satsang should be like this…, [Chuckles] it should be:

‘There’s nothing you can do to be free.’ And the next line should be:

‘You must constantly strive for freedom.’ [Laughs]

‘You are not the doer at all’ but ‘You must do the inquiry’ [Laughter]

We must reduce the gaps between the contradictions [Laughs] then we’ll know what we’re really talking about. [Laughs]

Why is it like this? Why is it like this? Because to come to a point of neutrality, I require sometimes a whack from the left and sometimes a whack from the right. Otherwise, we go this way too much or we go that way too much. So, to keep the neutrality, we say ‘This way’ sometimes; then go to ‘No, no, too much to the left. Come to the right’. I have to whack from both sides so we keep the center. There’s a Guruji [Moojiji] satsang that says ‘Keep your eyes on the road’. Sometimes I say ‘Nothing you can do’ and sometimes I say ‘What are you doing? Do the inquiry’.

So, what are you doing here in satsang? If you’re trying to calculate your way out of the contradictions of satsang, you will not be able to. Because there is no verbal truth to be spoken. There is nothing can be said. If there was something that could just be said and that would lead to your freedom, that would be just published; done. ‘You don’t need a living master, you don’t need anything; just one book’. And they would have figured it out. How long have humans been on this Earth? A few million years? So somebody would have figured it out: ‘This is the master key to freedom’.

It doesn’t work like that. Because what is being ‘worked at’ is the fundamental presumption that we all end up making which is that ‘I must be a separate individual’. And there is nothing that the individual would want more than something like a master key. It is only making the sense of being an individual stronger.

So anytime you feel like you found the way, you got it now, know that it is not true.

The Integrity of Allowing and Looking

I’m very happy whenever I hear anyone say that ‘I’m allowing this burning to happen’. This allowing is very important. This allowing is IT actually. We’re allowing the moment to unfold as it is unfolding. Allowing is the opposite of ego. Because resistance means ego. Allowing our own reactions also.

She was saying also before not to fall into the trap of belief in guilt. With integrity, you see? There’s a fine line (but from the ultimate perspective it is also irrelevant). The fine line is that Advaita is very useful if our urge is for full freedom. But Advaita can also be very harmful if you are looking for excuses. So, this allowing; this ‘Everything is just happening’ can also become a very potent excuse, because anything that we do, we can just say ‘I’m not the doer’.

That is why, in the play, this integrity. I used to always get confused when [Nisargadatta] Maharaj used to say ‘You must have full integrity’. I’d go ‘Who is here to have full integrity? Isn’t this contrary to what he’s been saying in the rest of the book? Where does this integrity come from?’ Then I realized why the pointer is made, because we don’t run away from our looking, we don’t fall for any concepts, some excuse. And Advaita can give us the best excuses.

So, like I said at the beginning of satsang, my invitation now is just ‘Can we look without conclusions? Can we look without proclamations? Can we just look at what this is?’

We’re truly here just to look; to look at the looking. Who is aware of looking? How many of us experience this world? How many of us actually See? How is this world experienced? Most of humanity is saying ‘Outside, then thought, then pain, then some other visual comes outside’. It’s a very scattered sort of existence. Just to see this itself is very useful.

He asked me ‘What is it that changes or seems to have changed?’ [for Anantaji] One is this; that it doesn’t seem so scattered now. Of course, thoughts still come, feelings still come, sensations still come. But there is memory of where it used to be one second here, one second thought, one second feeling, one second idea or something, one second this will to do something. It’s a very scattered sort of existence.

Most of us don’t even realize we live like that. We have to be able to see ‘What is really happening? One second I’m with the words that someone is saying, one second I’m with my thoughts, the next second I’m with the pain in the body, the next second I’m with this…’ It’s a flow like that. Then the flow sort of stream-lines also, in a way.

As we just look, and we’re not buying the voice of the interpreter anymore, then it can seem much more settled, much more relaxed.

About Awareness Being Aware of Awareness

Q:I want to check with you about Awareness being Aware of Itself. I don´t know actually what to say, but something was pushing here to come up. How it is experienced here…, (there is an urge here that you jump in, when something is not right here. You know what I mean?) [Laughing] So, Awareness being Aware of Itself. [Pause] The experience here is somehow that when the attention is going to Awareness being Aware of Itself, only This is. There is no content; no content can be experienced.

A:Actually, can we make it even simpler? Can I help to try to make it even simpler?

Q:Yes, please.

A:So, like we were sharing earlier, we can say that ‘I am aware of the sense of Being’. For you, you can make a statement like that, you can say ‘I am Aware. Of course, I am aware of the sense of Being which is here’. But in that statement what are we really saying? We are really saying that ‘I am aware of this Awareness, which is aware of the sense of Being’. So, already

Awareness is aware of Itself.

Q: Yes.

A:Not Itself in any tangible way, not Itself in some attributional way, but just to be able to say ‘I am aware of Being’. It means first I must be aware of what Awareness is. Isn´t it?

Q: Yes, of course.

A:Yes. Therefore I must be aware of this Awareness. Therefore this ‘I’ is seen also to be not separate from Awareness itself. I say ‘Awareness aware of Itself’.

Q:I forgot. What did you say? [Laughing]

A:It´s okay.

Q:Not the last sentence, but the sentence before the last sentence felt strange. [Laughing] I forgot…

A:So, when we say ‘Awareness aware of Itself’ it is not with the sense of duality, (although in the words it can sound like it´s a bit dual or something).

Q: No.

A:It is just with the simplicity of seeing that there is Awareness of something (including Awareness of Being) already implies that Awareness is aware of this Awareness, which is aware of Being. You see? It is not blind to Itself in that way.

Q:No. Yeah, that´s my point. [Laughing] Here I want to jump in. Awareness by Itself is everything. It doesn´t need this content of Beingness. But the experience here is somehow flowing, you know? There is just a flowing going on. [Laughing] Awareness and Beingness as such are not separate in that sense, and yet (like you always say) the quality is very different. Because Awareness doesn´t have any quality; Beingness has quality. And there is a flowing going on, you know, when there is only Awareness here. There are times when there is really only Awareness without even Beingness.

A:Okay, can we pause on this one for a second, just to clarify this?

Q:Yes.

A:There are two types of experiences where we can say something like that. One is that which we call deep sleep. That there is just Awareness here, there is no content, there is no Being, there is no quality. So, of course, within the sleep state we cannot say anything at all, because there is no Being, but it is our experience of sleep, we can say.

There is another experience, which is called turiya or some very high levels of meditation where it can seem like there is no Being. But actually what is the difference between this turiya state and the sleep state is that there is a glimmer, there is a tiny strand of Beingness which is still there. So, it doesn´t seem like I am asleep. But it still feels like there is no Being, there is only Awareness here. This is what the sages in the past have called the turiya state, highly meditated state, where even the sense of Being is very, very transparent. You cannot really find it. It´s a very thin strand. And yet it is different from sleep.

Q:Yes, and when I listen to you now, it gets very clear. Even when Awareness is totally in the foreground somehow, the Beingness must be very subtle there; because when it is not there you would just sleep, like you said. But I am not sleeping. There is no sleep there then.

Yeah, this was somehow the clarification. And in This, you know, it´s flowing. It is just flowing. It is not something stable. There is just, from this Awareness it is just flowing to neutral Beingness.

Yeah, thank you. Thank you so much!

A: Thank you.

See the Belief Which is There and Ask ‘Who is This Me?’

Q: Suffering is caused by resistance, isn’t it?

A: Yes.

Q:Or suffering is resistance, basically. And suffering requires thought, or belief in thought. But it feels like resistance doesn’t.

A: Ah, maybe there’s a difference in the definition of resistance.

Q: When I’m resisting something, it feels like I’m suffering.

A:For me, resistance means a non-acceptance of what is. Is it possible to not accept what is, without a thought? So, if it’s energetic, one sort of energy is coming and another sort of energy is happening. There’s a Mahabharat of energies happening. I would still not call that resisting.

Q: It’s possible.

A:Did you listen to what I said? [Smiles] Let me repeat. So one sort of energy is coming and another sort of energy is coming. They are fighting, like the Mahabharat. They are fighting. I would still not call this resistance. Maybe this part is what you’re calling the resistance.

Something which is coming in resistance to this energetically is not what I mean by resistance. It is still not the ego yet. It is a normal functioning. The Consciousness is functioning in this way where energies are coming, more energies are coming, and the play of this fighting is happening. But it’s still not the ego yet. This not the resistance that I am talking about. The resistance which

I am talking about is the thought which comes and says ‘But why does this happen to me? This should not be happening. See, I’m resisting again’. And when that is bought, that is ego.

The play of energetic movements which are constantly there in the body whether we notice them or not (sometimes they are too subtle to notice) this back and forth is always there. Lower energies pushing downward, higher energies pushing upwards; it’s constantly there. So, then we would never be free from ego.

Ego cannot be this. Ego must be that which labels even this and says ‘I don’t want to experience this. Why does this happen to me? When will it stop?’…, anything like that. Then we put the ‘me’ in the picture. Otherwise it’s just a movement of energy.

Q: I think I’ve been somehow connecting…

A: This second one?

Q:Yeah, it almost feels like it’s the same egoic energy which either takes the form of a thought or takes the form of an energetic resistance; like it has two expressions, or something like that.

A:The identity would still not be born, the sense of ‘me’ would not be there, unless I get a ‘me’ into the picture saying ‘I am suffering from this’ or ‘I am fighting this’. There has to be at least some labeling happening.

Q: Yeah, who’s to say I’m anything to do with the second energy?

A: Exactly.

Q: But that’s what I’ve been believing. I’ve been feeling like something is in the body…

A: And it feels like this is a real aspect of me?

Q:Yeah, it’s trying to come out, it wants to come out and be released. And then there’s something which is desperately trying to keep a lid on that, and I’ve been looking at that second one and saying ‘Why can I not just…?’

A:But without this, even the label or any belief about the first or second one (it could be hundreds of energies but just to keep it simple) without this, it’s just a play of energy which is happening. This movement is happening, but there is no ‘me’ still in the picture who is the sufferer of any energies. This is a very important subtle point.

Q:It’s really subtle, because already when it’s very intense I don’t really feel like I suffer it any more. There’s just this allowing. But I guess it’s a conditional allowing. In allowing it, it should take place smoothly energetically.

A:If there’s still a sense of a ‘me’ which is in a fight energetically then we must see this, that ‘Okay, there’s this belief which is here that feels like I’m in some kind of fight with this energy’. Just to look at that. ‘Who is this me? Who is the one which is fighting? What control do I have over either of these?’ Then you’ll find that you come to the witnessing perspective easier.

What Does It Mean ‘Don’t Believe Your Thoughts?’

Q:Which desires to follow and which to witness? What do you mean when you say ‘Don’t believe your thoughts’? Not act on it?

A:So, let’s unravel this a little bit. A thought is only an energy construct which is appearing and disappearing. This we must check first. We must look closely at what thoughts are. How do you perceive your thoughts? What is a thought? Check now; wait for the next thought to come. [Silence]

And I know that very naturally when we look at the mind and say ‘I’m waiting for thoughts to come’ for most of us they start to become quiet and not show up at all. But they do come eventually.

As they come, you’ll find that there are these two forces (as I call them) that can interact with this energy. First is the power of our attention, and that which gets our attention seems to be alive; seems to exist for us.

But the thought could say anything. [Silence] A thought could say ‘There is a green apple in my fridge right now’. So, attention can go to it; there is a green apple in my fridge right now. But just because attention went to it, are we identified with it?

Oh, you spoke about desire, so let’s take a thought like that. ‘I want to eat a green apple’. Just because attention went to it, does it automatically become a belief? Does it automatically become a desire (which is nothing but a strongly believed concept)? So, ‘I want to eat a green apple’ with the interaction of our attention and belief, depending on how much belief has been given to it, it becomes a desire; or not.

Now, this is the root of all spiritual practices; because most spiritual practices teach us that we must not give these thoughts our attention; we must keep our thoughts on our breath, or (in Hatha Yoga) keep attention on the breath or keep attention on the body or keep attention on a mantra or keep attention (as [Nisargadatta] Maharaj said) on the Presence ‘I Am’. But I have to speak from my own experience and I can tell you that (here at least) these attempts to just keep attention away [from thoughts] were largely unsuccessful. It would happen for some time, and then attention would go back to these thoughts.

So, I cannot tell you that which did not work here. But I can tell you that to not give it belief seemed to be much simpler here. So, when a thought comes, it is allowed to just come and go. Even if attention goes to it, it’s fine. We’re not ‘serving it tea’. You see? When the zen master said ‘Allow thoughts to come and go, just don’t serve them tea’…, this is all that it could have meant. Because even to say that thoughts come and go needs our attention. You see? Therefore,

in the allowing for them to come and go, attention must go on them but at least we are not giving them our belief. We are not serving them this tea.

This simple allowing is a surrendered life.

Now, does this mean that just because we’re not believing these thoughts (which are lying and saying that ‘I am this individual entity’) does then life have to become boring, vegetative, irresponsible, reckless? It doesn’t have to be like that either. Because that which is running the life now has always been running the life. It has been a delusion that I am the doer because we cannot even find this personal-I that can do something. That which we cannot find and does not exist definitely cannot do anything. That’s why I say that God is not waiting for our surrender. He has been running our life. All of this play has been His play.

So, surrender is not a doing. It is a recognition of the reality of how this realm plays. So just like I am not the thinker of my thought, I’m also not the doer of my actions…, (depending on the perspective). This ‘I’ (when we say ‘I am not the thinker or the doer’) I’m talking about a personal ‘I’.

But if I were to say ‘I Am that I Am’ then I am the only doer. And I am the only thinker. All moves only through My will. And if were to say this ‘I’ which Witnesses even ‘I Am’ then I would say this ‘I’ remains as the untouched Witness of any of this movement.

That is why I say that the only end to this debate about doership and what to do / what not to do, is first see who we Are. Who would be the doer? Who would be the actor, when you say ‘Not act on it’. Is there an individual there who has the power of action? Or is it another part of this great big ‘seeming’? (As Guruji [Mooji] says ‘This great big seeming’) ‘I seem to be the thinker, I seem to be the actor’. But this ‘I’ itself doesn’t seem exist at all.

Introducing Readings from the Ashtavakra Gita

I came across this very nice translation of the Ashtavakra Gita by Bart Marshall. It’s very beautiful. I just was skimming through it yesterday. So, I felt I could read a little bit from this.

This is the translator’s introduction. I felt to read the intro also. It’s very nice.

“There is an ancient spiritual document of great purity and power. Pure because it is relentlessly one-pointed. Every word is aimed at triggering Self-realization. No suggestions for self- improvement, no rules for models of behavior, no practical wisdom for daily life. Powerful because the mere reading, or repeated reading, of it can be enough to send a ripe mind really reeling into Truth.

“Little is known about the Ashtavakra Gita. Ashtavakra is a name that appears in Indian lore but almost certainly it is not right. (These are not my words; I’m just reading the introduction.) The author, likely an anonymous sage, merely uses the characters of Ashtavakra and King Janaka to set up a classic dialogue between Guru and disciple. It quickly becomes a Guru-Guru dialogue. However, because after the first salvo of wisdom from Ashtavakra, Janaka realizes his true self. And from then on, they get into an Advaitic jam session of the highest sort.”

[Laughter] There are a couple of things coming up to say about this. One is that this is reading something like ‘It is not actually an Ashtavakra and King Janaka dialogue’. I’ve heard this many times about the Bhagavad Gita, that ‘At least it cannot be on the battle field; that the war was about to start and then these two took a good amount of time; ‘Wait a few minutes. We’re sorting something out’.

Ashtavakra (what little I know about him) is famous also in India, because Ashtavakra means ‘the 8 contortions’. So, 8 places he was bent. And he is known as that sage who was bent because his body was completely convoluted; it was bent at 8 places.

And Janaka we also talk about in satsang sometimes because Guruji [Mooji] has this example of telling everyone that ‘Everyone wants a Janaka style enlightenment’. What does it mean? Janaka was a king. He was a king and he was an enlightened sage. So, somewhere, he [Mooji] speaks that one of the fears that came for him is that he is going to be a hunchback beggar on the streets of Brixton. After he becomes free, or something like this, he is going to be like Quasimodo wandering the streets, he says sometimes. So this, fear can come. And because this fear can come, we can have this idea that ‘I want that which Janaka had. I want to be the king of my kingdom. I want to have my attachments and also be free’. So, in this we discover what Janaka’s true attitude was; whether there was any attachment to the kingdom also, we find out.

Actually, I read the Ashtavakra Gita many, many years ago; many years ago. And otherwise it’s just been a few bits here and there. So, let’s see what it reveals. Then he says:

“Because of this, some translators have done away with the dialogue format and attributed everything to Ashtavakra. Indeed, since all of the verses of the Ashtavakra Gita exist at the highest level of spoken wisdom, it would appear meaningless to attribute some to the teacher and some to the newly-enlightened disciple. There is nevertheless a story line set up in the Ashtavakra Gita and for me, it goes something like this:

Chapter 1: It all starts when King Janaka asks the sage Ashtavakra how he can attain Knowledge, detachment, liberation. Ashtavakra tells him.

Chapter 2: It works! Upon hearing Ashtavakra’s words Janaka realizes his True Nature. Enraptured, he describes the joy and wonder of his new state.

Chapter 3: Ashtavakra is delighted for Janaka but sees inconsistencies. He fires off a series of confrontational verses about attachment to worldly pleasure.

Chapter 4: Janaka asserts that the Lord of the Universe can do as he pleases.

Chapter 5: Ashtavakra does not disagree, but in a terse four verses points to the next step— dissolution.

Chapter 6: Janaka says ‘I know that already’ matching him in style and number of verses.

Chapter 7: Unable to leave it at that, however, Janaka goes on to further describe his enlightened state.

Chapter 8: Still hearing too much ‘I’ in Janaka’s language, Ashtavakra instructs him in the subtleties of attachment and bondage.

Chapter 9: Ashtavakra continues to describe the way of true detachment.

Chapter 10: Ashtavakra hammers away at the folly of desire—no matter how elevated or subtle.

Chapter 11: Ashtavakra further describes the state of desirelessness to which he points.

Chapter 12: Janaka replies by describing the state of timeless stillness in which he now finds himself.

Chapter 13: Janaka, having been instructed by Ashtavakra in Chapter One to “be happy,” reports that he indeed is.

Chapter 14: Janaka then summarizes his exalted state with calm indifference.

Chapter 15: Impressed but not through teaching, Ashtavakra relentlessly points to the vast emptiness of Self. Chapter

16: Ashtavakra attacks the futility of effort and knowing.

Chapter 17: Ashtavakra describes the nature of one who is truly free.

Chapter 18: Finally, Ashtavakra hits him with everything he’s got—100 verses of pure non- duality. If this doesn’t do it, nothing will.

Chapter 19: It works! Janaka no longer describes his enlightened state, but can speak only in questions revealing absence.

Chapter 20: In a final flurry of questions pointing only at their own meaninglessness, Janaka

burns off the last vestiges of personhood and enters dissolution. He ends with: ‘No more can be said.’ Ashtavakra smiles, nods approvingly, and says no more.”

So, Chapter 1 is: Instruction on Self-Realization.

How Is Liberation to Be Attained?

Ashtavakra Gita [1.1-1.5]

[1.1] [Janaka said]: “Master, how is Knowledge to be achieved, detachment acquired, liberation attained?”

[Ananta continues]: So, Chapter 1 is: Instruction on Self-Realization. It starts with Janaka and

the first verse goes: Master, how is Knowledge to be achieved, detachment acquired, liberation attained?

We’ll relax a bit. Through all the verses we can go slowly. Because what are we really saying? It says it’s an Instruction on Self-Realization. And what is the question? ‘Master, how is Knowledge to be achieved, detachment acquired, liberation attained?’ So, is this a question for the sage to describe what his idea of Self-Realziation really is? Two aspects: Detachment acquired hence leading to Self-Realization. And he uses Knowledge with a capital ‘K’.

What is the difference between small ‘k’ knowing and capital ‘K’ Knowing? In Sanskrit, I’m sure there was not a capitalization possible. But at least in the translation we have used a capital ‘K’.

We were talking about the instruction on Self-Realization, which is the first chapter of the Ashtavakra Gita, where Janaka said ‘Master, how is Knowledge to be achieved, detachment acquired and liberation attained?’

What is this Knowledge with a capital ‘K’? It must be pointing to that which is true, the truth.

What is it we can truly say is the truth?

What can we define as the truth?

Because this is the only kind of Knowledge which will point directly. So, that which is unchanging, timeless, and verifiable. What is the point of that which cannot be found directly? If it is not direct, verifiable, then it is just like saying that the Earth is so much distance away from the sun. We cannot directly verify it; at least right now without the instruments.

So, this ability to find this true Knowledge for ourself must be important. So, we’re moving away from conceptual knowledge with a small ‘k’ and moving toward direct recognition of the truth, coming to the Knowledge of who we are in the most direct way.

So, this is Knowledge. This is Knowledge which I’m presuming that Janaka wanted.

A: ‘Detachment acquired’. Who can speak a little bit about detachment?

Q:It feels like detachment is allowing everything to come and go.

A:Yes. So, what would attachment be?

Q:Attachment is when you believe what the mind is offering as an alternative to what already Is.

Q:Yes. Very simply I describe also sometimes in satsang that attachment is to believe that something that is appearing in this realm is ‘me’ or ‘mine’…, to say that ‘this is me’ or ‘this is mine’ (which, even to say ‘mine’ implies that there is a ‘me’ first to be able to call it ‘mine’).

This must be attachment, to say that ‘This belongs to me’…, the sense of ownership; my life, my family, my relationships, my money, my spirituality, my freedom.

So, attachments can be possible only when it seems something can be mine.

A:So, he [Janaka] said: ‘How is Knowledge to be achieved, detachment acquired, liberation attained?’

So, what must this liberation be then? We’ve said Knowledge which is the direct Self- recognition, and detachment which is the letting go of all our attachments. And we’ve spoken about this in satsang often, isn’t it?

To recognize the truth AND to drop the conditioning; both imply liberation. Because recognition, a momentary recognition, sometimes is not enough to drop all conditioning.

And at least I have not come across a case where conditioning can be dropped without the recognition of what is true. Some conditioning can be dropped, but not all; or a majority of it cannot be dropped unless there is a valid recognition.

So, it seems like the first two are the pre-requisites for the third. ‘How is Knowledge to be achieved?’ which means the direct Self-recognition to be found; and ‘Detachment acquired’ which is the dropping of the conditioning.

[Note: Skips [1.2] for now; feels it was added to the book at a later date. More on this later.]

[1.3] Ashtavakra says: You are not earth, water, fire or air. Nor are you empty space. Liberation is to know yourself as Awareness alone—the Witness of these.

A:[Ashtavakra said]: ‘You are not earth, water, fire or air. Nor are you empty space. Liberation is to know yourself as Awareness alone— the Witness of these.’

So, he jumps straight in. No? He’s saying ‘You are not earth, water, fire or air’. In Indian education, in our Indian tradition, the Earth is made up of these elements; earth, water, fire and air and space. The sage is saying ‘You are neither earth, nor water, nor fire, nor air’.

Then, the mind has this tendency (many times in satsang also) that we start imagining some empty dark space or black space, or some room full of white light is what we are.

So, nor are you that empty space. It’s important that he mentioned that line very clearly. So, I feel we are very clear that we cannot be the elements of this realm, and neither are we the empty space.

‘Liberation is to know yourself as Awareness alone – the Witness of these.’

Very good. So, even this space (many times we visualize a space when we’re in the inquiry) but who is That which is aware of even this space?

This Awareness is the true reality of what I am.

So, when we ask the question ‘Are you aware now?’ it brings us here: to See that this Awareness which is here, which is just the Witness of all of these elements but is not made up on any of these elements.

It’s important to read also that ‘Liberation is to Know Your SELF as liberation alone’. This is what I’ve been pointing to the last few weeks, that sometimes we come to the discovery of Awareness as if it is something external to us. ‘Oh, nothing is happening to Awareness, but what about me?’ [Pause] ‘I have seen this Awareness, but what about my life? Will it get better?’

So, still sometimes in our inquiry, in our satsang, it can be that we come to a recognition of this Awareness, but the mind still keeps alive the sense of a separate identity which is coming is coming to the discovery of Awareness. You see?

So, it’s important to Know: ‘Liberation is to Know Your SELF as Awareness alone’.

That’s why I’ve offered you this question: Who is aware even of Awareness?

And this I feel like you cannot truly escape, the discovery that:

I am this Awareness, even prior to ‘I Am’.

I Am This Awareness.

So, ‘…to Know Your SELF as Awareness alone’. He’s not saying ‘Come to the discovery of Awareness’. Many times in Advaita satsang, this is what’s happening. We come to it as if it is another experience.

You must be able to find that it is ‘I’ which is this Awareness; the ‘I’ before the ‘I Am’, The ‘I-I’

This ‘I’ is the ‘I’ that remains, as Bhagavan [Ramana Maharshi] said.

[1.4] Ashtavakra says: Abide in Awareness with no illusion of person.You will be instantly free and at peace.

A:Then he says: ‘Abide in Awareness with no illusion of person. You will be instantly free and at peace’.

How does one abide in Awareness?

The sage says ‘Abide in Awareness with no illusion of person. You will be instantly free and at peace’.

So, for me, I would read the second one very importantly, which is ‘with no illusion of person’. I feel that abiding in Awareness is our natural state anyway. The only delusion or the only play is this play of being a person.

So, how do we play this play? We play this play only by believing ourself to be an object within this realm; believing ourself to be a separate entity.

‘Person’ means what? He’s not saying ‘with no illusion of body’. He says ‘with no illusion of person’. Because the body illusion or reality (whatever you like to call it) can still appear. So, what is this person? This is a pure imagination, it is a pure construct made up of our beliefs.

But to ‘Abide in Awareness with no illusion of person, you will be instantly free and at peace’.

We can actually just stop here. [Chuckles] Because he says ‘You will be instantly free and at peace’ if you were just to not fall for being a person. And already, being in satsang, we know that to abide in Awareness is just happening on its own. Can you be un-aware? You cannot be. So, abiding is the natural part.

Many of us make this mistake of trying to become the Awareness, trying hard to become the Awareness. ‘Can I get myself to be the Awareness?’ But in that, we already picked up the illusion of personhood.

So, the dropping of the illusion of the person is already the abiding in Awareness because you are aware now. In fact, it would be impossible for you not to be aware. So, if I was to say ‘Abide in the un-awareness’ that would be impossible. To abide in Awareness is the most natural state.

But we have the power, as we know, we have the power to believe ourself to be a person. This is the illusion of personhood.

So, he says to ‘Abide in Awareness with no illusion of person. You will be instantly free and at peace’.

So, what about conditioning then? We’ve spoken about this. Isn’t it? What about conditioning then? But even to pick up conditioning requires this: the illusion of person. Without picking that up right now, can you pick up any conditioning?

Very often we’ve said in satsang that it’s all about the ‘Right Now’. Even right now, if you don’t tug at a leaf of the conditioning, a thought about yourself as a person, then the whole tree has no power over you. You see?

So, in this moment, right now, you are free. This is what we say in satsang every day. Right now, you are free. You start free. Freedom is not a destination that you’re going to.

I read something very beautiful from Adya[shanti] today, where he said ‘What are you going to do right now to pretend to be un-enlightened?’ (I’m paraphrasing.) What are you going to do right now to pretend to be un-enlightened? That is the real question. What are you going to pick up from the conveyor belt of the mind?

[1.5]: Ashtavakra says: ‘You have no caste or duties. You are invisible, unattached, formless. You are the Witness of all things. Be happy’.

A:‘You have no caste or duties. You are invisible, unattached, formless. You are the Witness of all things’.

We’ve discussed the person, so unless the person was a reality, it is not possible to have a caste and then the duties of that caste.

Then he goes on to describe what you really are; and he starts with ‘You are invisible’.

[Smiles] Is that a big help? [Chuckles] For those of you who are new to satsang [might be thinking] ‘If I’m invisible then how do I find myself? Because I am looking for my Self and you are saying I’m invisible’. So this must be a contradiction, isn’t it?

So, who can tell us? (Also in the Hangout (online) you can tell us something). Why is invisibility not a contradiction to finding your Self?

I’m just reading this [Comment from hangout typed]: ‘Because the Self is invisible’.

Yes. But if it is invisible, then is it possible to find something which is invisible? We’re looking for the Self, and the pointer is that we are invisible.

And then someone said ‘Because you are your Self’. Yes, but what does this mean? If I’m Janaka right now.., ‘But invisible, then how do I realize this Self? How do I realize my Self?’

Q:I feel like it’s such a beautiful pointer because it completely knocks the mind right out of the park, right away. Like you just have to leave it.

A:Yes. Very good. [Chuckles] It’s a very beautiful pointer because I say ‘Please imagine something which is invisible’. Can you do it? Can you imagine space? Only if you put a room around it. [Laughs] You see, it is not part of the functioning of the mind. Even if you were to imagine space, you would imagine a dark space. You cannot imagine a colorless space; you cannot imagine something which has no attributes. Can you do it? Actually take a minute and do it. [Chuckles] You can’t. Something which has no attribute whatsoever; can we think about it?

Can we report something on it?

So, this ‘invisible’ actually doesn’t mean…, (I don’t know what the original Sanskrit was but) invisible doesn’t just mean invisible in that sense of, you know, the invisible man. But more in the sense of no attribute at all. ‘Invisible’ could still mean that it has some weight, it has some mask. Here we are talking about that which has no attributes.

Q:As soon as you said ‘invisible’ what came to mind is that it’s not anything that you are perceiving, on any level.

A: Yes, exactly.

Q:Because that’s really, for me, I would say that as much as believing thoughts is also the just basically identifying with vibration or sensation or something like that which gives way to the personhood, the sense of personhood.

A:I saw a quote today which said that: ‘Even with sensations, if they’re just sensations, it is impossible to identify with them’. We must put the label; we must say that this is happening to

‘me’. There must be at least some subtle interpretation. Because the Witness of a sensation is not identified with a sensation. The sensations will still appear. But the identification is possible only…, identification itself means that ‘I have a concept about this sensation’. It is impossible to be concept-less about the sensation and yet be identified. You can then only be the Witness actually.

Abide in Awareness with No Illusion of Person

Ashtavakra Gita [1.1-1.6]

We’re really looking at this beautiful scripture and we’re finding that there’s a very direct correlation with what’s being spoken in satsang, in a very condensed form. And sometimes because it is so condensed, it can seem like it is obvious already. That’s why we’re relaxing through the verses, taking our time, going over every word because every word has so much meaning in these beautiful scriptures. And we are finding that this is what has been spoken about in satsang. And it’s a beautiful way to actually have a framework around what has been shared here. Because in the verses we are finding that it is familiar; not just in the content but also familiar in terms of the voice which is speaking. It seems like it is the same voice that is using this mouth now to speak, the voice of the Satguru which is your own Holy Presence.

So, as much attention as we feel is possible to give, it’s very beautiful. Because it is in the Ashtavakra Gita, just upon hearing the chapter one, that Janaka came to the recognition of his real Self. Just a few verses were enough to allow him to let go of his personal identity. And the same is possible for us right here, right now.

So, let’s continue where we left off. We were reading Chapter 1, Instruction on Self-Realization. I’ll quickly go through all the verses that we’ve already read. So, it starts with:

[1.1] Janaka said: “Master, how is Knowledge to be achieved, detachment acquired, liberation attained?”

Already very beautiful, isn’t it? Because in this is the encapsulation of Self-Realization, what it actually means? Recognition; but the dropping of conditioning as well through detachment. Is this clear for most of us?

[1.2] Ashtavakra said: “To be free, shun the experiences of the senses like poison. Turn your attention to forgiveness, sincerity, kindness, simplicity, truth.”

It was inserted (most likely) later on. It’s very beautiful for someone who is new to satsang and they’re wondering ‘Okay, all this is fine, but what do I do?’ If this question is still bothering us, then we can focus a bit on this paragraph. My feeling is not to focus on this one too much, because it just feels like this was inserted later. It does not feel like it belongs in this text.

[1.3] Ashtavakra said: “You are not earth, water, fire or air. Nor are you empty space. Liberation is to know yourself as Awareness alone, the Witness of these.”

We discussed this yesterday and we found that the mind can have this tendency of when we say that we are not material in any way, then there is a sense of space; like dark space or white light or something this. But even that we are not. Who witnesses even this? That is the question that the sage is asking. And he’s also answering ‘Liberation is to know yourself as Awareness alone’.

Again, a very important point that we discussed yesterday, to know your Self as Awareness alone; not as a discovery outside of Me. Because many times in satsang this can happen that we feel like ‘Oh, Awareness is there. But what about me?’ still. But I am this Awareness, prior to even ‘I Am’. So, that’s why this is a very important verse.

[1.4] Ashtavakra said: “Abide in Awareness with no illusion of person. You will be instantly free and at peace.”

Very beautiful. Just in three lines: Abide in Awareness; what to do to abide in Awareness? Nothing actually. But the sage tells us that ‘Don’t have this illusion that you’re a person’. So, don’t have this illusion that you’re a person. Then it takes no effort. So, to abide in Awareness, there is nothing that we have to do. It is our most natural state. Even before the sense of Being comes, that ‘I Am’…, even before that, we are Aware.

So, to abide to Awareness means to have no illusion of personhood, and you will be instantly free and at peace. Just for minute, we’ll look at this.

Is it possible like this? Completely! Because we are free now! We are free. Right now, we are free. It only happens NOW. And the dropping of the conditioning is also NOW. It’s not going to happen in the future. The dropping of the conditioning only means that we are surrendered in this moment. We are not picking up a concept about how this life should be, what should happen next. We’re not picking up our next thought.

So, freedom must be NOW. It is not something to be attained in the future.

[1.5] Ashtavakra said: “You have no caste or duties. You are invisible, unattached, formless. You are the Witness of all things. Be happy.”

Since it was written many years ago, we know that the caste system was prevalent in India at that time. It seems politically incorrect talking about caste. But we are just looking at this from a higher perspective, which is to see that when the illusion of personhood is not there, then the attributes which can be attached to this so-called person also drop. Let the person drop.

It’s important that he says ‘or duties’. So, not only are the attributes of personhood dropping, but also the sense of doership dissolves. Duties must be to that idea that we had about ourself, that ‘I had to do something’. Now these duties are also dropped.

So, the way to look at this is to see that no attributes and no doership can then remain. Because he goes on to explain that ‘You are invisible, unattached, formless. You are the witness of all things. Be happy’. [Repeats] ‘You are invisible, unattached, formless. You are the witness of all things. Be happy’.

First, is the dissolution of personhood; no personal attributes. And what remains then? Without attributes, what remains is invisible. What he actually means is without any attributes. Unattached. That which is without attributes, this Awareness cannot attach to something in reality. So, all our attachments were about this idea of the person; never truly about that which we Are.

We said yesterday that what we say about attachment is to call something in this realm ‘mine’. And the ‘mine’ implies that there is a ‘me’ that owns something. But we are then not talking about the truth of what we Are; we’re talking about the imagined-one.

‘You are invisible, unattached, formless’. Now, for the seeker, he might enjoy the sound of these words. [Chuckles] But actually, if he was to try and find what is invisible, unattached and formless, it is very frustrating. How will you discover That? This is about discovery. How are we to find that which is invisible, unattached, formless? How do we start even looking for it? Where do we go?

When the seeker eventually shows his frustration in satsang, saying ‘What am I doing here? I’m not getting anything. I have been coming here, and initially some joy and peace was there but even that is gone’. [Laughs] This happens in satsang, isn’t it? ‘I’ve been coming for so many months, and it was nice but I just feel like it’s a waste of time. I’m not finding anything at all. Even what I knew, I have forgotten now. I can’t even speak knowledgably about anything’. [Chuckles] So, in this, that frustration is encapsulated because what is the discovery? We’re not discovering anything phenomenally tangible; only the invisible, unattached and formless.

But is the frustration warranted? Because we Know this already. It is only our mind which cannot fathom this. So, when we go back, we contemplate, we look at these things…, and I’ve given you the tools for it. That’s why I ask you ‘Are you aware now?’

Is your finding of this Awareness something that is visible? Does it have a form? Is it attached? Even to say that ‘I am aware of something’ we see that this content, what we are aware of, keeps changing, but this ‘Aware’…, to be able to say ‘I am aware of it’ means that I’m already aware that there is this Awareness here.

Very slowly. It is not confusing. Only the mind wants to fight this is a big way.

I’m only simply saying that when we are aware of something, you must first be aware of Awareness. Otherwise how would you say ‘I’m aware of it’? You see? Just like to be able to say ‘I am smelling this, I am seeing this, I am hearing this’ we must first be aware what smelling is, seeing is, hearing is. In the same way, to say ‘I am aware of something’ you must first know what ‘aware’ is. And this doesn’t have any attributes. It is invisible in that way; and formless.

So, then what happens is ‘Yes, Awareness is here’…, but even in this statement ‘Awareness is here’ there is a tendency in the mind to create some distance between Awareness and what this me is. ‘Yes, yes. I know awareness is here’. That’s why I’ve given you another tool, which is:

Who is aware of this Awareness?

Use this one. Who is aware of this Awareness? And for those of you who are open enough, you will find that this is the recognition of the Self. [This] I’ is this Awareness. I am finding that I am formless, I am unattached and I am not a physical object in this realm with attributes; invisible.

This is the recognition of the unborn, the no-thing, the eternal that we speak about.

Who is aware of the Awareness? … I.

Is this I distinct from Awareness? No, I find no separation.

There is nowhere where I is but Awareness is not; or Awareness is, but I am not.

The sage has given us a way to find this also. He says ‘You are the witness of all things’. (Before we come to the ‘be happy’ part). This phrase is very important. He says ‘ALL things’. Very important. He doesn’t say ‘You are the witness of things’. He says ‘ALL things’. That means that only that which is Witnessed exists.

Is it too far to go? But even physics is coming to these conclusions. Nothing exists without the observer. So, that means that this is our dream. Because if I am the witness of all things, that means that only that which I am the witness of exists. It’s like in a dream, if I get a newspaper from America…, the newspaper exists but does the America exist? This waking state is just like the dream state. That which exists in our attention; that exists. Because he says ‘YOU are the witness of all things’. It’s a very direct statement. Don’t allow the mind to mis-interpret it. It is very, very direct; needs no disclaimers. YOU are the witness of all things. And very often in satsang we’ve said that the Universe is that which You are aware of.

Then he says ‘Be happy’. And this seems to be from a different level than where we were speaking just now. I feel this is also very beautiful because the sage is saying that once we know this, is there any reason to be unhappy? In fact, this must be cause for celebration, isn’t it, that I am no-thing, that I Am That which cannot be hurt, that which is formless and unattached, that which has no attributes, and yet I witness the play of this realm. So, so much fearless-ness, so much cause for celebration.

Janaka was sitting with a sulky seeker face, and the sage says ‘As you know this, be happy. You are not a person’. Just this! Many times we say this: ‘You are not a person’. You’re not a person, you’re not a thing; you’re not even Consciousness. You’re that which is aware of Consciousness; That in which God takes birth and God goes back to sleep. What must You be? How is it possible for us to suffer now?

Therefore, he says ‘Be happy’.

[1.6] Ashtavakra says: Right and wrong, pleasure and pain, exist in mind only. They are not your concern. You neither do nor enjoy. You are free.

He says ‘Right and wrong’ which is just the realm of the interpretation, judgment. ‘Pleasure and pain’. This might be a little different than the definitions we use in satsang. I like to say that the mind is nothing but a bundle of thoughts and similar energies like imagination, memory. Sometimes we say (let’s include) all the other perceived sensations like emotions, pain; let’s also for a moment include that in the definition of the mind. So, the sage is using the broader definition. He’s saying ‘All of these thoughts, all of these sensations, all the pain, all the pleasure’. Let’s look at that as the mind.

As the Witness of the mind you are apart from this. These do not touch you, although they happen within you, they only exist (as we saw earlier) in our play. Only that which we are aware of, only that which has our attention, only that which is perceived seems to exist in this realm of maya. So, the sage says that all of this interpretations and all of the sensations, either through our senses or seemingly-felt internally, let’s see that that is not original to us. It is in the realm of the mind. They are not your concern.

So, let’s look at this ‘your’ now. ‘Your concern’. He is speaking to us directly as Awareness Itself. This Awareness is unconcerned. Often in satsang, we use the term ‘unconcerned’. This Awareness is unconcerned with this play of Itself called Consciousness.

Then he says ‘You neither do, nor enjoy’. This is directly again pointing to what we speak in satsang, which is ‘Tvam karta, Tvam bhogta’ [meaning] ‘You are the doer, and You are the experiencer’. What is this? It is a prayer to Consciousness. But usually the prayer is made from the perspective of a person, that ‘I am nothing, Oh, Lord. You are the doer, and You are the experiencer’. When he says ‘enjoy’ here, he’s talking about experiencing. ‘You neither do, nor enjoy’. But here, he’s not referring to ‘you’ as the person. He’s saying You-as-this-Awareness. So, an aspect of you, which is Consciousness, is doing and it is enjoying. YOU are unconcerned as the Witnessing; unconcerned with the movement of doing and experiencing.

From the perspective of the person, this is called surrender. ‘You, oh, Lord, (or Consciousness) are the doer and You are the experiencer’. And from the perspective of Awareness also, You are not the doer or the experiencer; although Consciousness is also an aspect of You.

So because you neither do nor enjoy, the sage says, you are free. [Chuckles] In the fallacy of this doership and the fallacy that I am the experiencer of this life, mostly I am the victim of this life. Also another very strong leg of the ego. ‘Oh, I am the victim of what has happened to me. Look at what has happened to my life’. Victim-hood is a very popular ego belief. So, when this fallacy of doership and being the experiencer of what is happening (the suffer-er would be a better term) of this life. And to see that I am the primal Witnessing, the primal Witness of this entire play, then even to say ‘You are free’ is actually under-selling it, because you can never be bound. This one, which is formless and unattached, is neither the doer nor the experiencer. It is impossible to find any attributes of it to even bind. You see? How would it be bound?

It is talking about You. You Are Free. [Chuckles] You Are Free.

See This and Be Free

Ashtavakra Gita [1.7-1.10]

[1.7] Ashtavakra said: “You are the solitary witness of all that is, forever free. Your only bondage is not seeing this.”

~ ~ ~

So, in chapter 1, verse 7, the sage Ashtavakra is saying: You are the solitary witness of all that is, forever free. Your only bondage is not seeing this.

Actually, this one paragraph is enough actually. You are the solitary witness. So, in this also, this misconception that ‘Yes, there is Awareness here and there is Awareness there and there is Awareness there; there is Being here, there is Being there; this is demolished. Because it is not like this. It is not that there are 7 billion bundles of Beingness (and if you count animals and insects, trillions and trillions of bundles of Beingness). It is One Beingness. In fact, when someone says ‘Beingness here and Beingness there’ I say ‘Why are you not counting the space in between? It’s appearing in the same Beingness’. Just like the one dream is appearing in one Consciousness. The space in a dream is not different than the characters appearing in the dream. You see? It’s part of the same Consciousness. The mountain in the dream is not different than the people appearing in the dream. They are part of the same Consciousness; just appearing differently.

So you are the solitary witness. Now, for the idea of a person this is very scary. ‘I don’t want to be solitary. I don’t want to be lonely.’ For the person-idea this solitary-ness is a scary notion. It sounds very lonely, it sounds very boring, it sounds very numb-ing. But to That which you Really are, to this Awareness, to this Oneness, it is all there is.

If there is nothing beyond this, how can there be two?

And then “You are the solitary witness of all that is.” And the other day also, we were re- emphasizing this point. It is ALL that is. Only that which you are a witness of, exists. The rest is all presumed. The rest is all conceptual.

So, can we check this now?

Who is the witness of all that is?

Can we go layer by layer?

Who is the witness of this outside realm?

Is it you? Or someone else?

The outside world is witnessed by…?

Who is the witness of the body, the witness of thoughts?

The witness of emotions? Sensations? Pain?

Who is the witness of all of these?

Who is the witness of your own existence, the sense that ‘I exist’? …, which is another name for ‘All there is’ actually. This ‘I Am’ is actually all there is.

This is the One Being. And who is the witness of that? The sage says, Ashtavakra says that ‘You Are That. You are the solitary Witness’.

Now, are we to treat these just as nice-sounding, fancy words? Or is this a recognition which is available for us Right Now?

I want to tell you that it is available for you Right Now. Because there is on dichotomy in these words. They’re very direct.

“You are the Solitary Witness of all that Is, forever free. Your only bondage is not seeing This.”

So, first: Forever free. This Witnessing…, okay, so let’s look at the word ‘witness’ also. When we hear the word ‘witness’ it can feel like there is an entity which is witnessing. It can feel like there is a thing called ‘The Witness’ which is witnessing the world and the Being and everything else in between; as if there is an object called ‘The Witness’ or an entity called ‘The Witness’ which is actually witnessing.

But if this witness was an object, then it would have an attribute. An object has to have an attribute. And that would be witnessed.

Stay with me. It’s a very, very important chapter. And as I was saying yesterday (in the mythology at least) Janaka got enlightenment just by listening to this chapter once through Ashtavakra’s mouth. And it’s very direct, what it is saying; so don’t let your mind come and give you any concepts.

When we see that this Witness, if it was an entity or an object, it would also have some attributes; but those also would be witnessed. All attributes must be witnessed, so there must be a Witnessing which is prior to that.

So, in this, when we check, we find that This which is the primal Witness, or the Awareness or the primal Witnessing (as we call it)…, that Itself is not an entity. Therefore, we say that there truly is no witness. It is just the Witnessing. It is not a Seer.

You are not a Seer. You are the Seeing Itself. And for the mind, this is an impossibility. So, you don’t have to go with the mind or any sort of mental understanding because the mind can only understand you to be an object, a thing. Can the mind fathom that you are not a thing, You are this Witnessing Itself? That’s when the trouble starts to come and we start grappling with something which tries to describe us as a thing. Even to say ‘space’ makes us feel like there is some element there; but even that element we are not.

We are just this pure Witnessing. What does it witness? All that exists, of all that is. There is nothing outside of this.

So, when we say ‘You are the Witness of the phenomenal Universe’ that means that the phenomenal Universe consists of that which you’re witnessing at this point.

We’re looking at chapter 1, verse 7, the sage Ashtavakra is says: You are the solitary witness of all that is, forever free. Your only bondage is not seeing this.

So, we covered the first part yesterday. Let’s look at this part today: Your only bondage is not seeing this. Every line is so strong, isn’t it? Because he doesn’t deal in relatives at all. Just very absolute. Your only bondage is not seeing this.

If you are the solitary witness of all that is, and you are forever free; already he’s saying ‘forever free’ then how can one that is forever free have a bondage at all? So, what is it implying there? It must be implied there that…, if you are forever free, then the bondage must be a pretense, must be a pretend bondage. So, when we pretend ourself (like he said earlier) the dropping of the illusion is only the dropping of the idea of being a person. Therefore, our only bondage is to not come to this recognition, not to allow this recognition that ‘I am the solitary witness of all that is’ and pretend as if I am not this. And this refusal, this pretense, is our only bondage.

Therefore, satsang is for this pretend bondage. It is a pretend game to get rid of the pretend bondage. But from the perspective of a person, it all seems very real. So, as the recognition is coming, and the conditioning is dropping, you will wonder what all of this is for. What is all of this about? This seeming journey which seems to take years and years, we wonder ‘But it has always been so obvious. I have never been this person. What is it that I always used to struggle with and say ‘This is too strong, this is too much like this, I am too attached to this’. I cannot even find that one now that can be attached’. Because the only attachment is this myth of bondage.

Therefore, you are forever free. As long as we are pretending to be separate, we are pretending not to be this solitary witness of all that is, until then this seeming-game will continue.

[1.8] Ashtavakra said: “The thought ‘I am the doer’ is the bite of a poisonous snake. To know ‘I do nothing’ is the wisdom of faith. Be happy.”

So, verse 8 is: The thought ‘I am the doer’ is the bite of a poisonous snake. To know ‘I do nothing’ is the wisdom of faith. Be happy.

Often we have spoken about this, that one of the strongest legs of the ego is this sense of doership. And you will find it ludicrous and hilarious at some point because you will find that ‘I cannot find who is the doer’. And yet I have the sense ‘What should I do next? What am I doing? And based upon the seeming-doing that I am doing, I can feel pride or guilt’. Then the seeming doing of another, we can feel anger; all kinds of projections can go onto them because of their seeming-doership.

So, like we were saying earlier that the recognition that this Consciousness is the one doer and the one experiencer is the dissolution of this false idea that I am the doer in a personal sense. The thought ‘I am the doer’ is the bite of a poisonous snake. To know ‘I do nothing’ is the wisdom of faith. Be happy’.

But what is the way around this doership question? The debate about free will vs. God’s will won’t end unless we first try and understand ‘Whose free will would it be?’ And then, when this is inquired into, we find there is nobody here that can have a free will. Nobody can have a free will, because no person exists.

So, free will actually is the pretend will; is the idea of the individual will. And this individual will implies that there must be an individual here. But do we find it? When we look, even in this phenomenal realm, we find only this body here. And this body is not interested in most of the things we are doing. What is there for the body in satsang? The body is not the doer, the body is not seeking freedom. The body is not even seeking security.

From this perspective, it is seen that (as the sage says) ‘To know I do nothing’ is referring to what? This idea of personhood does nothing.

So, then, who is the doer? We can either say ‘nobody’ (because nothing is actually being done) or we can say ‘That which is here, the sense of existence or God, Consciousness; this must be the one doer’.

Who could be the experiencer of God’s doing? Many times we pray as if God is going to do something, but it has to be for me; or ‘God must take care of my life’ or God must lead my life to a particular outcome’. This is what I call the half-surrender. God is the one doer, then can there be a separate experiencer. Cannot be, isn’t it? Then this Consciousness is the one doer, one experiencer. And as the sages have said, this Consciousness itself is the projector, it is the light, it is the screen, it is the movie, it is the characters, it the script, it is the director, it is the everything. And this Consciousness is moving this entire manifest creation according to Its own will. This is God’s will.

‘To know ‘I do nothing’ is the wisdom of faith.’ To see it like this, God (This Consciousness) is the mover and the experiencer of the universe, then to see this itself is faith. That which runs the universe is also running this life. To see this is faith.

[1.9] Ashtavakra said: “A single understanding ‘I Am the One Awareness’ consumes all suffering in the fire of an instant.”

So, verse 9: A single understanding ‘I Am the One Awareness’ consumes all suffering in the fire of an instant.

So, this understanding sounds like a master key, because if I just because know this: I Am the One Awareness, it will consume all my suffering in the fire of an instant.

But who comes to satsang that does not know that we say this every day? I Am the One Awareness. Is it the end of suffering? [Chuckles] Then what is the contradiction? What is the contradiction? The contradiction is that just as a concept (even this concept, although very beautiful and poetic: ‘I Am the One Awareness’) just as a concept, it is not enough to come to the end of suffering.

Therefore, when the sage says ‘understanding’ he is talking about the direct recognition of this truth. Coming to this Seeing, coming to this pure recognition of the Self. ‘I Am the One Awareness’…, where even these words fade away. Even these words are not needed there: ‘I Am the One Awareness’. Awareness does not need these words.

So, as the Being is coming to this recognition, that I am this one Awareness, then this is truly the end of suffering. If you were to look at this term ‘understanding’ it must mean that this is clearly recognized. But even in this recognition, which many of us in satsang have had, is it still the end of suffering? Many times it isn’t; in fact, most times it isn’t. Because understanding must also contain the dropping of that which is false understanding. That’s why he said ‘A single understanding’ (that I Am the One Awareness).

So, to come to this recognition non-conceptually, as a living experience, that’s why we have the pointers ‘Are you aware now?’ and ‘Who is aware of this Awareness?’ to bring us to this recognition.

The recognition does not really convert into the true understanding unless that which is false and conceptual is also dropped. Both the recognition and the dropping of the conditioning is contained here.

And it’s important to see that the sage says here ‘In the fire of one instant’. Because when I say the dropping of conditioning, it can seem that now we’re talking about the realm of time. But even the conditioning has to be dropped NOW. Must be dropped NOW. As we are allowing these thoughts to come and go; it is so simple actually. It can seem like ‘Now I have a big task. I have to recognize and I have to drop the conditioning so I have a lot of work to do’. Actually it is nothing. It is just to use these pointers:

Am I aware now?

Who is aware of this awareness?

I am.

And then, just simply allowing everything to come and go; our thoughts, our emotions, everything that is coming and going in this realm is allowed to come and go at its own pace; without attaching to it.

So, this, when it says ‘A single understanding; I Am the One Awareness’ also implies that I am not an object in the world, I am not the body, I am not this phenomenal world; and to See that I must be this One Awareness is the true understanding; and Right Now, You Are Free.

Right Now, You Are Free. In the fire of this instant. So, don’t wait for some holy instant. This is That.

Also, the sage reiterates that ‘I Am the One Awareness’ and we’ve been stressing on this over and over in the past few weeks. The recognition is that it is this ‘I’ which is This Awareness. It’s very important to see it like that. It is not that Awareness, a distant Awareness. It is not an experience that you had of Awareness. It is to see that Awareness is ‘I’.

[1.10] Ashtavakra said: “You are the unbounded Awareness-Bliss, supreme bliss- in which the universe appears like the mirage of a snake in a rope. Be happy.”

Verse 10: You are the unbounded Awareness-Bliss, supreme bliss!

This Awareness; we cannot find a boundary. We cannot find a start or an end. It is not contained within in any phenomena. It is not even contained within this phenomenal realm. That is why when I ask you ‘Where are you, really? Are you here in this universe at all? Or are you just witnessing this universe?’ So then you See that ‘I am not in the universe. My ‘I Am’ is the universe itself. My Being contains this universe. But my truest nature, my true Self, is not to be found in this realm’.

And in Seeing it like this, we see that there has been this sense of trying to discover the Self, as if we will find it as an object within this realm, or within the body or within the mind. But it is not to be found here. Who witnesses the realm? Who witnesses the body? Who witnesses the mind? That is already what You Are, and You have never left this position.

So, you are this unbounded Awareness. And as this recognition is coming, then bliss can arise in service to it. But for now, you don’t be concerned about the by-product [bliss] because the recognition that ‘I Am this unbounded Awareness’ is the important thing.

So, ‘You Are This unbounded Awareness in which the Universe appears like the mirage of a snake in a rope. Be happy’.

Within this Awareness, the universe appears. What form does the universe take? The most primal form of the first appearance is what? Existence.

So, we experience this no-thing-ness in the [deep] sleep. And this primordial appearance comes; the primordial vibration, which is ‘I Am’. It is also called ‘Om’. And in the light of this primordial vibration, the universe seems to exist. Seems to exist.

Q: Could you talk a bit more about the bliss?

A:We’re searching for the by-product more than what we are truly recognizing for ourselves. So even when this recognition could be happening that ‘This Witnessing is I, this Awareness is I’ then the mind could say ‘Hello. Where is the bliss?’ [Chuckles] ‘Are you truly coming to the true Seeing? Because they said it’s going to be supremely blissful’. So, then we don’t give it any space to unfold itself; the recognition. Because immediately we go back to wanting something; the seeking of the bliss, which will supposedly make everything else seem tasteless; all other worldly experiences.

The important thing is that you are the unbounded Awareness, which is accompanied by bliss as its servant (in a way). Actually, even that would not be completely accurate; because this unbounded Awareness (manifesting in this form of Consciousness) remains un-associated. When this not associated personally in any way, then it is completely followed around by love, peace, joy, bliss.

So, in this Awareness, we saw that the universe appears, and then he says ‘like the mirage of a snake in a rope’. So all of this is just one big ‘seeming’. So, from the perspective of Awareness, nothing ever really happened. The mirage never really existed. But it can seem to be there. When you’re in the desert and you’re searching for water, it can seem like the mirage is real. Just like when we consider ourself to be an object, it can seem like this world of objects is real. But this mirage is ‘like the mirage of a snake in a rope’. It could be late in the evening and you see a snake; you see a rope on the side of the road and if the light is dim, it could feel like a snake. That has happened to many.

So, like this mirage, the universe is appearing. When we truly look (it’s a beautiful example of the mirage, isn’t it?) when we truly get close and we look and we don’t see the mirage anymore. So, when we truly look at who we are, we find that we are this unbounded Awareness.

Opening Talk and Blessing – Silent Retreat

A:Are we willing to go back as a speck of dust? Not even a speck of dust, as nothing at all. Sangha: Yes.

A:If you are open to that then the possibility of the complete recognition of the Self is completely here. But if you want to keep something in your pocket; if you say ‘Yes, freedom, but also these special relationships’…, if you say ‘Yes, freedom, but I also want the bliss and joy’…

What if freedom is not an experience? What if you get no halo? What if great words don’t appear from your mouth? What if you never become a Master? What if this is the end of your story; this great novel that we have been writing with all the ups and downs…, what if it ends with just a sputter…like this…whoosh? Nothing fancy at all. Would you be okay with that?

Sangha: Yes.

A:Or do we have some expectations that something should happen; which itself is the biggest fallacy because You are already That. So, it is a re-cognition you see. It is a re-cognition.

So, empty out your pockets. Free yourself from all of this. We have created this environment for you, where you can just…, if you go crazy, go crazy. It’s actually a very Western notion that crazy people are disrespected. In India we have always had a great respect for the crazies. Some of our greatest sages have been quiet crazy. If you lose your mind here, it is very, very good.

What are you unwilling to leave? And I am not asking for any outward renunciation. Are we willing to renounce our mind? That’s all!

For too long we have had two Masters (at least for those of you in Satsang). One is this voice which speaks through this body in Satsang. And the second is this voice which goes on inside your heads; which is judging even these words right now, saying ‘Yes, yes, no, no, yes, no. This is good. What am I doing here? I should run’. So, if you are trying to balance sitting on these two chairs at the same time it is going to be a journey; it’s going to seem like effort. If you can just let go of this one, just let go of this one, only auspiciousness will emerge. Your Presence will bless everyone around you.

The mind is the form of Consciousness which is meant to lie. Consciousness in this play is completely dual, isn’t it? All extremes; sugar and spice, love and fear, joy and grief. All duality is possible here. So this voice…, if there is an intuitive voice which is your Truth, your own Satguru Presence which guides you to the Truth, then there is also there is a liar. Don’t try to make friends with the liar too soon. This liar, which seems like a tormentor now will become like a comedian and you can enjoy the comedy of the nonsense that it speaks. [Laughter]

Forget all our ideas about Freedom. Forget all ideas about effort. And ultimately can we even say something which will sound absurd to you: Can we even forget about Consciousness? It’s absurd isn’t it? Because only within Consciousness can we say like these things. And yet what I am speaking about is to be unconcerned with this play of existence.

What is appearing and disappearing? Stop checking on your state. ‘Today I am 90% free. Today these emotions are coming so I am 75%’. We don’t need this report card. We don’t need the checker guy.

It is coming again and again here to say: Forget even about Consciousness. What is it that remains unconcerned even with this movement of Consciousness? What is that? Is there something?

I am going to be asking a lot of questions this time. Contemplate on this question: What is the Truth? What is the Truth?

I will tell you what to look for: Find that which doesn’t change, which is unchanging, and that which is un-deniable and therefore verifiable.

So the truth cannot be that which changes; because if you say that the Truth is red and tomorrow is it yellow, then this Truth is of no value. So, there must be a Truth that is unchanging. And a truth, if it is just conceptual and not a living experience, then all concepts can be denied. Even ‘I Am Awareness’ if it is only a concept, it can be denied. Somebody can come and argue with you and say ‘There is no Awareness’. It is completely deniable if it is just conceptual.

So what is the Truth? What is undeniable and un-changing?

Using this question, all of our mental knowledge will start to disintegrate. And it is very important that it does. Because this is not true Knowing you see, this is just conceptual ideas.

So, if you are here for the Truth at least let’s contemplate this for ourself: What is the Truth?

Satguru Mooji Baba’s Grace is completely here with us now.

May his Grace guide every word that is spoken through this mouth. May he give you all the strength and courage to drop that which is false.

May you all shine in the light of your un-associated Being, un-adulterated Presence. May your Presence bring peace, love and light to this entire realm.

Let there be Peace Let there be Peace Let there be Peace

Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti

Knowledge with a Capital ‘K’

Ashtavakra Gita [1.1-1.3]

I won’t go through the introduction again. Most of you know about this beautiful scripture. So, let’s dive straight in. Chapter 1: Instruction on Self-Realization. Ashtavakra starts by saying ‘Master, how is Knowledge to be achieved, detachment acquired, liberation attained?’

Looks like a very sincere seeker, isn’t it? If I was to ask you if you want Self-Realization, what does that really mean? What do you really want? How many of us can actually answer this question? It might be some concept you heard in satsang. But have you really looked at what we want. We say Self-Realization or liberation or freedom. What does that mean? Aren’t you the Self already? What are you trying to realize?

So, then in the first verse itself, Janaka who is very mature has clarified this, because he says ‘how is Knowledge to be achieved…?’ Knowledge; and it is spelled by the translator with a capital ‘K’. What is this Knowledge that we’re talking about. Is it just a bundle of concepts? Just some new ideas? I can give you 10 concepts; actually one is enough. [Chuckles] I give you the concept ‘I am Awareness’. Is it done? Is that Knowledge? What must Knowledge really be? And what is this Knowledge with a capital ‘K’? It must be that which has become our living experience. It is not conceptual.

Often I have said that just replacing the concept ‘I am a person’ with the concept ‘I am Awareness’ is not enough. In fact, it might even seem more burdensome and slapping us about, saying ‘But nothing is happening to Me. I am Awareness’. You see, it doesn’t help. It just becomes more of a fight because we become in denial of our own suffering also.

So, is there some Knowledge which is not concepts? What is here for certain? [7:55 Audio cuts out til 8:27] Also we see in satang many times that just the recognition of the Self, like an Awakening experience is not enough. We do not call that liberation. Many…, most of you in satsang have had Awakening experiences. Isn’t it? You’ve had glimpses of the Truth of who you Are. And yet, our magnetism of conditioning seems to pull us back.

‘How is Knowledge to be achieved, detachment acquired, liberation attained?’ To know what detachment is, we first need to know what attachment is. How is attachment possible? Often I have said that anything that we say after ‘I Am’ is a story, is a lie actually. It’s just an idea; it’s a belief. So, all that we have attached to this pure sense ‘I Am’, to this Beingness, ‘I am something, I am a person, I am good, I am right, I am truthful; I am this way, that way’ these are all attachments; these are all conditioning. It’s just that this pure Presence ‘I Am’ is able to play as if ‘I am something’ only using the power of belief, which leads to identity. And we’ll go through all of these things.

So, we’ve collected these bundle of concepts about ourself, and that makes the so-called ‘person’ identity. Not only is the recognition of the Self important, it is also important to drop all that is false, otherwise the recognition will become another mere experience.

So, Janaka has already understood both these aspects; Self-recognition and dropping of the false conditioning to imply liberation. ‘How is Knowledge to be achieved, detachment acquired, liberation attained?’ You see? Liberation attained is therefore ‘Liberation attained’.

Okay, the next verse [1.2] is a verse which I often say is an insert later on, for those who probably said ‘Give me something practical. I cannot deal with this’.

So, the sage [Ashtavakra] said ‘To be free, shun the experiences of the senses like poison. Turn your attention to forgiveness, sincerity, kindness, simplicity, truth.’ Forget about it.

[1.3] The sage [Ashtavakra] says ‘You are not earth, water, fire or air. Nor are you empty space.’ This is very important. We cannot find ourselves this way, in phenomena. This phenomenal realm is made up of earth, water, fire or air. And very often, we come to this Seeing that ‘I am not this’ (elemental, phenomenal, atomic, molecular). And then, what do we come to? We say ‘I am space’ and space is close, but even this space you are not; even a void you are not. Because the mind is trying to help you by giving you visuals. You say ‘I am none of this. So what am I? I am space’. Many of you visualize and you get stuck in your visualizations [Chuckles] You will imagine some dark space, emptiness. Who sees even that? So, not even the space you are. Who is Witness to even this dark space or white light? Can that be Seen? Is that spacious, that Witnessing? How spacious is It? This is where we leave the mind behind because the mind cannot fathom this. The mind can only work with forms; names and forms.

So, when the sage says ‘You are not earth, water, fire or air. Nor are you empty space’ what is left for the mind to do? Forget about it? [Chuckles] You will not fathom this this way. You will fathom this only with your direct Seeing. You will not be able to conceptualize this.

The other day I was saying ‘Can you imagine nothing? Can you think about nothing? Think about something which has no attribute. Can you do it? That is why it seems like this spiritual journey can be so frustrating at times. Even in satsang sometimes, somebody gets angry with me. [Chuckles] They say ‘I have been here so long and what have I got at the end of the day? Really! What have I got?…, I am nothing’. You see, that’s the point. [Chuckles] So, if that is frustrating, we are missing the point actually. Because we have to look at this idea of getting something, of understanding something, and see what that would be about. That means there would be some lack in you right now. Truth would have something missing and now that would be given to you, to complete you. That’s a complete lie. There is nothing for you in that way. You see? Only a mirror.

So, the sage is shining his mirror upon us saying ‘You are not earth, water, fire or air. Nor are you empty space. Liberation is to know yourself as Awareness alone, the Witness of these.’

We are done, no? [Chuckles] Pretty much done. ‘You are not earth, water, fire or air. Nor are you empty space. Liberation is to know yourself as Awareness alone, the Witness of these.’ Simple. Are you unaware right now? How do you know that you are aware? Do you see it? For everything else, you perceive it. Are there flowers on this table? You see them; you say ‘Yes’. Are you breathing right now? You perceive it and say ‘Yes’.

How do you know that you are aware? Do you perceive Awareness? What form does it have? What are the attributes of this? Size, shape, color…, something? Do we perceive any attribute?

Are you aware now?

How do you know?

I Am That Knowingness Itself

Q:Awareness Itself knows Itself…

A:How do you know this?

Q:Because like you just explained, I need my eyes to see an object or something but I don´t need any senses to perceive my own Beingness.

A:Yes. But even to say ‘Beingness’ already implies that there is a sense of Presence, a sense of

Being. You are aware of the sense of Being. So, there is a qualitative distinction (although the distinction is not real) there is a seeming qualitative distinction between Consciousness and that which is aware even of Consciousness. Isn´t it?

Q:So, this knowing is still knowing.

A:[Laughing] Yes, yes.

Q:No? If I need something else to know Knowing then …, I don´t feel that I need someone else to come to confirm my own existence or Presence to me.

A: Yes, yes.

Q: Maybe something else but I need anyone …

A: So, leave Presence also behind.

Q: So, my knowing …

A:You say ‘I am aware of Presence’. You see? So, ‘aware of’ keeps changing. That is the content. So, leave the ‘Of’. You say ‘I am aware’. What does this already mean?

Q: I Know.

A:You Know. And the ‘I’ that knows this, is which one?

Q:Knowing ‘I’ … knowing of things …

A: Are you saying that this ‘I’ is Knowingness Itself?

Q:This ‘I’ is Knowingness Itself. If I say ‘but’ then it´s like Ashtavakra was just saying that the glimpse of this, that ‘I am this Knowing and Awareness’…, and any amount of thoughts are not

going to change that. But when the attachment is coming, the feeling of Knowing seems to get lost; not always. The attention is moved off basically.

A: Okay, attention moved. So, what happens to Knowing?

Q: It´s still …, it´s there. It knows …

A:What is at the backdrop? Even to say ‘Attention moved on’ don´t we have the Knowingness of this? All else is changing, but the backdrop remains the same, isn´t it?

Q:Just now when you ask this question ‘What is this attachment?’ to know detachment I must

[inaudible]… I really looked and I sat. ‘What is this attachment?’ Attachment is just to be happy.

A: Attachment to be happy, yes.

Q:The attachment is to happiness, always to happiness.

A:And that gives us the most unhappiness.

Q:Yes. [Laughing]

A:[Laughing] You see.

Q:The attachment is to the happiness.

A:Okay. Let´s go into this. To say that ‘something is mine’ is how attachment is normally understood, isn´t it? But this ‘mine’ implies that there is a ‘me’. And we label it (in this realm of constantly changing appearances) we try to hold on to something saying ‘this is mine’ or ‘this is me’. This is foolishness, because everything in this phenomenal realm is constantly changing. What will last? You see? We don´t even know for sure that it is this body that will wake up tomorrow morning. So, attachment to objects in this phenomenal realm is sheer foolishness because already we know that it is changing. Everything is constantly changing. You see?

Then as we dig deeper we find out ‘What are our greatest attachments?’ And you can find them out right now. What are you most fearful about? You say ‘Everything is okay but this should not happen to me’. These are your greatest attachments. And it`s pure ignorance because that which you are saying should not happen is going to happen one day. So, attachment is to label something as ‘me’ or ‘mine’ …, when it is not [me or mine]. It is part of the play of Consciousness; the movement of Consciousness.

So, we say that ‘I want control over my life’ which means that ‘My life should only have certain states and the state I would like is …’ You know? It´s as if we place an order in a restaurant. ‘I would like the state of happiness please’. And life says ‘No’. [Giggles]

So, freedom is not a state. Freedom must be the allowing of all states to come and go. Now that (funnily enough) is happiness. We are not even concerned with happiness; that is happiness. When we attach ourselves to only a certain state ‘I want happiness. I want joy. I want bliss. I want enlightenment. I want freedom’…, these are just ideas. As if life will dance to the tunes of the non-existent one. Because the ‘I’ that wants these things, we cannot even find it. And the ‘I’ that is here we constantly deny. So, this is the up-side-down-world of the mind, you see. The ‘I’ that wants something, that we cannot find. The true ‘I’ which is always here, that we refuse to look at. Isn´t it?

So, she says that ‘I am that Knowingness itself’. How many of you would agree? Very good. So, when the question was asked ‘How is Knowledge to be achieved?’ this is what we are talking about. And also the concept ‘I am Knowingness’ or ‘I am Awareness’ (which is the same thing) will not help us. It has to be seen Now, Now.

Who is witnessing all of this?

Who is the witness of everything that has an attribute?

What is that?

So, that´s why I´ve been giving you these questions to make it simpler. I ask you ‘Are you aware now?’ You say ‘Yes’.

And who is aware of this Awareness?

[Silence]

Don´t let your mind come in now and say now ‘But this is too abstract, too confusing’. It is very direct. You say ‘I am aware’. Isn’t it?

So, who is this ‘I’ that is aware?

[Silence]

Is the one sitting next to you telling you ‘You are aware’?

[Silence]

No, it is Known.

But is it a concept? No.

[Silence]

This is the unchanging Truth of who You Are.

You say ‘In sleep state, there is nothing’. I say ‘But there is an ‘I’ to know that there is nothing? Otherwise are you just making it up’.

[Silence]

You say ‘I woke up at 7am’. What changed? What is the change that happened? Is it only that objects appear? Or is there something more fundamental that changed? Many times we say we wake up, but we didn´t open up our eyes; nothing was experienced sensorally; no object was sensed. Then what has changed between sleep state and waking state? There is the birth of the sense that I exist, I Am.

So now, the state changed, okay? So, suppose it´s like we are looking at a window and it was dark and suddenly there was light. If you were not there to look at it, would you be able to report this change? No, nah?

So, if there is nothing in sleep and there is a sense ‘I Am’ in the waking state there must be this ‘I’, which is the primal witness of this change, which exists throughout. So, this ‘I’ which does not sleep or wake up, is This Awareness, is This Knowingness Itself.

I am giving you all of these pointers. But don´t take any of them as concepts. Use them to check for yourself.

If I’m Awareness Then Why Must I Abide in It?

Ashtavakra Gita [1.4]

Ashtavakra says: “Abide in Awareness with no illusion of person. You will be instantly free and at peace.”

Now, he has said that ‘You are Awareness alone’ in the previous verse. He said ‘You are Awareness alone’. Now, why is he saying ‘Abide in Awareness’? But I am Awareness alone. No? If I’m Awareness, then why do I need to abide in it?

This is a question you must ask the sage: What’s going on? You say ‘I am Awareness alone’ then you say ‘Abide in Awareness’. What does it mean?’

So, he has clarified this. He says ‘With no illusion of person’.

What does this mean? It’s very simple, actually. Some of us, we have children. When we play with the children, the child might say ‘Let’s play doctor/doctor’. So, we pick up the pretense of being a doctor while we continue to be who we are.

So, we’ve picked up the pretense of being a person while we’ve always continued in reality to be Awareness alone.

Therefore, the abidance in the Self or the abidance in Awareness only means not to pick up the pretense of personhood.

Right now, in this moment, you don’t have the pretense of personhood. You don’t have it.

You are free. Right now, you are free! You are [Laughs] unless you pick up the pretense by picking up the next thought.

Show me how you are bound without buying a thought. Show me how you are suffering without buying your next thought.

That’s why Papaji [HWL Poonja] said that ‘We need nothing for this natural happiness; but we need something to be unhappy’. What does it mean? It only means this.

So, this is the bad habit that we are here to ‘cure’. This is the ‘rehab’ for this habit.

Personhood is a Pretense

Ashtavakra Gita [1.4]

So, the sage said ‘Abide in Awareness with no illusion of person’. So, right now, personhood is a pure pretense. That ‘I exist personally’ is just an idea. For three years now, I’ve had a bet in satsang; you show me the person and I give you a $1,000. I have not lost a $1,000 yet and I’m becoming more and more confident every day. [Chuckles] Why? Because sometimes we keep hearing these things these days, it’s so easily available. Earlier a sage will tell you ‘Come. Stay in my ashram 20 years then I will tell you one verse’. Like this. But here, every day we hear ‘You are not the person. You are not the person’. So, it’s like ‘Yeah, I know, I know, I’m not the person’. Do we realize what it means?

You are not a person! What are you then? Really!? We’re not speaking of some mythical stories; fairy tales. There is no person here. There is an appearance of a body here, but this body doesn’t want freedom; this body is not concerned about special relationship; money. Body wants? Who is this one? We cannot find this one. You see? It’s a myth. It’s the idea of separation which never really happened.

So, can we at least make a deal, that til you find this person you will not believe in its existence? Fair deal? No? Fair? Or No? You don’t look so convinced. [Chuckles] It’s very scientific. Til we find the existence of this separate entity, at least til then, can we not give it our belief?

What is the trouble? The trouble is this one has a very good lawyer. The non-existent one, in this play, in this leela of personhood, has a very good lawyer called the mind. It says ‘I want this. But, but, but…, what about this? What about this?’ Right now it is saying all kinds of things. Who is it representing? You ask it ‘Where is the client?’ Why do you need a voice to speak to yourself? [Silence] We don’t ask these fundamental questions. If it is my voice, then what it is telling me, I already know. Why do I need this voice to speak to myself? If it is Known, why do you need this mind saying ‘I want this, I want this, I want freedom, I want peace, I want happiness’. Who is it talking to? We picked up the wrong number and it goes on speaking to us, and we don’t ask ‘Who is speaking?’ Either question. At least ask one of the two.

So, this is the habit that we are here to look at. In this moment, can we allow this voice to just come and go? Can we not resist anything at all? And with this simple looking, we will not pick up this illusion of being a person. That’s why I say ‘If you don’t want to see God pretending to be a person, don’t believe your next thought’. If you want to see God pretending to be a person, believe your next thought. The trouble with that is that the ego also likes this. God. [Chuckles]

‘Abide in Awareness with no illusion of person. You will be instantly free and at peace.’

Everything is just so absolute, you see? If you just abide in Awareness with no illusion of person, you will be instantly free and at peace. Done!

Witnessing of All Things

Ashtavakra Gita [1.5]

Then Ashtavakra says ‘You have no caste or duties. You are invisible, unattached, formless. You are the Witness of all things. Be happy.’

So, we must remember that these words were written many years ago where something called the caste system was prevalent in the country. It sounds a bit archaic now. So, let’s look at the contemporary way to look at this. ‘You have no caste’. If you have no separation, no attributes; there is no distinguishing between what we are; we are One. Not only are we One, also in the phenomenal play, we are the same. So, we are not distinguishable. And neither do we have duties because we are not the doers in the first place. That which we have presumed ourself to be; if that doesn’t exist, how can it do something?

Imagine some person. Imagine any person. Give it all kinds of attributes. Really, do it. Imagine some person. [Silence] Color it up nicely. Give it all kinds of character. Imagined? Everybody has a person in their imagination? Yes or no? [Chuckles] Now ask that person to give you a glass of water. Can they give it to you? You cannot ask that one to pick up this glass of water and give it to you. Although this again sounds trivial, this is what we’re doing every day! We imagine ourself to be a person, and then we are saying ‘Okay, what should I do?’ When we say ‘What should I do?’ we’re talking about this mythical, imaginary person. So that which does not exist cannot do anything. That one cannot lift a blade of grass; forget a glass of water. That’s why this sense of doership is false. All of this is one movement in Consciousness.

Even science is coming to this conclusion; that every energy level of a single atom, position of a single atom, changes all other atoms in the universe. So, everything is so deeply interconnected. Even in the realm of science we are understanding these things. What is moving is moving on its own.

So, the sage said ‘You have no caste or duties’. We looked at this duties part. This ‘duties’ here implies ‘doer’. You are not the doer.

‘You are invisible, unattached, formless. You are the Witness of all things.’ This invisible is different from our usual idea of invisible, because our usual idea of invisible is like ‘The Invisible Man’ or ‘Mr. India’. He has a watch, rolls the dial and he become invisible. But he still has some attribute. It’s just that his physical attribute is not seen. But he has weight; when he slaps somebody, that one feels it. This invisible is not that one.

This means that you are attribute-less. You have no color, shape, size which you can say about yourself phenomenally. And again I say, here is where the mind fails.

Is Awareness and Knowing the Same?

Q:When we say Witnessing, then Witnessing and Knowing is the same?

A:You tell me.

Q:Yeah, that´s what I am saying. From the mind, from the phenomenal point of view, knowing means like the knowing the attributes of this object.

A: That is the small ‘k’ knowing.

Q:And this witnessing is just Knowing Its existence in a way, without necessarily knowing any attributes.

A:Yes. So, Witnessing (capital ‘W’), Knowing (capital ‘K’) and Awareness (capital ‘A’) all are the same. Knowing (small ‘k’) is to know a concept of something.

Witnessing with a small ‘w’ is the phenomenal perceiving of something. Awareness (small ‘a’) is related to the mental knowing or the conceptual knowing of something, or the physical perceiving of something.

But what we are talking about is the capitals; the absolutes. So, when the sages say Knowingness, Witnessing (the primal Witnessing)…, I’ve stopped using that word so often because it get confused with the phenomenal perceiving.

Q:So, that would be like in deep sleep. The one who Knows there was nothing (even no ‘I Am’) is the primal Knowing. So, when this ‘I Am’ arises with the world, there is immediately a Knowing that now something has come which was not there. But it felt like that the person also knows that. (No, the person can´t know … )

A: The person is a product of this later, no? The person is a conceptual product; not even ‘I Am’.

Q:So, before coming to satsang and recognizing, being shown that, you know, the person is not there; before that, where the sense of the person was there, it felt a bit illogical because you still knew that there was nothing there. Even before satsang I knew that there was nothing.

A: Of course.

Q:But I knew I must be there to know that nothing, right?

A:Yes.

Q:So, it felt like the person knew there was nothing and now the person knows. Like I know my dream, I know my sleep was not there.

A:It is not that there was a person there and now after satsang there is no person here. Our experience has always been One. There actually has been no person ever. There is always only Awareness that has Known the sleep and waking.

Q:So then (like you just said) even before satsang, the Knowing was there that there was nothing, but I was there to …, when I contemplate it, then I find ‘Who was the ‘I’ that was there?’

A: Very good.

Q:Who was this ‘I’ who was there? I guess I am looking again from the point of view of a person and then I feel that ‘I’ was there. You know …

A:Yes, but what ‘person’ knows about it? No, no don´t worry. ‘I was there and I knew in the sleep state there was nothing’. Now, this ‘I’ that was there, what was personal about it?

Q: Nothing.

A: Nothing. So, we cannot call it person.

Q:Yeah, yeah, exactly. So, there was no meaning, there was no world, there was no sense of ‘I Am’, no Being, nothing. I yet there was…, I mean, when we are there or experiencing there, you don´t even miss anything in a sense; it´s just …

A:Exactly. There is no lack. There is no idea of anything. Many times, the confusion that comes for many is that ‘But how can you say ‘I was there’? You can say ‘I was there’ because it is a myth for you? Is it…, if I say ‘There is another state in which you see a hundred rainbows. [Giggles] That is something’. Then you say ‘But I am not experiencing that. I don´t think there is such a state’. But when I say about sleep, you say ‘Yes, of course. I went to sleep and I woke up’.

So, you were not there. You are the most primal sense of existence as ‘I Am’. And yet to be able to say this itself means that there was an ‘I’ which knows that even ‘I Am’ was not there.

Q:Yeah, but the same one is now also saying (the same one that was there) has to be here to be able to answer that question.

A: Of course.

Q:But then when I say ‘the same one’ now suddenly the ‘same one’ becomes a person.

A:No.

Q:No, I am saying it feels like a person who is saying …

A: No, no. What of you feels like a person?

Q:You know, Anantaji, (I mean if I say just mentally like a question/answer) I know that it must be the Awareness which is talking. Okay? But like experientially now (I am trying just not to give a mental answer) experientially I am coming to a recognition that there is no person. So, it always must be the same one all along. It can´t be this one, then became that one. Even if it became, it’s the same one who became this, became that. It´s not that there are some three, four, five things. There must be only …

A: I am with you completely.

Q:So, when we say that ‘Oh, the person does not exist’ somehow to understand the meaning that this person does not exist, meaning ‘I, who always Am, exist’…, not as ‘I Am’, that primal one, the Consciousness who knew that, always Is. And this person; to feel that I do not exist as this person, it has to be an idea or something which can go away.

A: Of course.

Q:Because I can’t go away. I mean, I’m still here and I am the Knowing of my own existence, always. Right?

A: Exactly. Very good.

Q:Somehow this same originally One (I am calling it the original One) has come into a conclusion. The person is not concluding that it is a person. I (the original One) must be concluding that I am the person.

A:Yes. Okay, is this confusing for you? So let’s break it up a bit. So, there is no confusion in sleep state.

Q: No.

A:Waking state, the being takes Birth, Consciousness takes birth; I Am. So, now this sense ‘I Am’ appears and it is the same ‘I’ which is now ‘Aming’. ‘I Am’. It is not another one. There are not two now.

Some of you hear this some time and say ‘But that sounds dual’. It is not. It is ‘I Am’. It is not that there was an ‘I’ and now there is another which ‘Am’. It is ‘I’ Itself as the dynamic aspect of Itself, which now appears as ‘I-Am-ness’.

Now, with the birth of this ‘I-Am-ness’ or the appearance of this ‘I-Am-ness’ comes the birth of all the powers that come along with it. You see? There is the power of attention, there is the power of belief, there is the power of gravity, there is the power of electricity, there is the power of magnetism; there are all of these forces that come into play. You see?

Now, let’s zero in on the power of belief. ‘I Am’ (before it believes something) remains unassociated just as ‘I Am’. When it pretends it is something, it picks up a belief. That is the moment of biting the apple; the forbidden apple. Then it goes from this pure ‘I-Am-ness’ into pretending as if it is ‘I am something’. When it is pretending as if it is ‘I am something’ that is what we call ‘person’.

But just because it believed Itself to be something that doesn´t give any tangible existence to this idea of the person. It is still only a belief, only an idea. So, when it is said that ‘You don´t exist as a person’ it means that you never actually existed; it was only a myth, it was only an idea. Just like the cat example. Isn’t it? The cat never existed.

Is ‘Here He Is’ or ‘Here I Am’ more Accurate?

Q:In satsang, with you, with Guruji, one can see or understand that ‘No, I’m not a thing. I’m not a thing. I Am, but I’m not a thing’. And you can also see that the Presence or whatever is also unidentified anyway; it’s just Presence. And you feel the Presence of God when you’re there. You feel ‘Here He Is!’ Because you know God inside yourself.

A:So, is ‘Here He Is’ (which is very beautiful, of course) more accurate? Or ‘Here I Am’ more accurate?

Q: ‘Here He Is’.

A: That’s more accurate?

Q:When you’re there with Mooji or in this Presence, you feel the Presence of God. There, you recognize it instantly, you know? You recognize it. [Pause] There is still some separation sometimes; yeah.

A:Well, let’s look at it. The outer form of the Guru is the most transparent form of your reflection of your innermost Being; is the most beautiful reflection of your innermost Being; most clear reflection of your innermost Being. But even the outer form of the Guru ultimately is a reflection. It is your own God-Presence which is being reflected.

So, this Being…, ‘Here He Is’ …, is pointing you to ‘Here I Am’. The Satguru is this ‘I Am- ness’ Itself. Unassociated.

That is why it is a mirror. It is still a reflection.

[Silence]

Q:I just want to stay with that …

A:It’s very good.

Right and Wrong, Pleasure and Pain

Ashtavakra Gita [1.6]

Verse 6. Ashtavakra says ‘Right and wrong, pleasure and pain, exist in mind only. They are not your concern. You neither do, nor enjoy. You are free.’

‘You neither do, nor enjoy.’ What is this one referring to? The non-existent one. ‘Not your concern’ implies the same thing; you don’t even exist. How could any of this be your concern, because you neither do nor enjoy. Same thing we’ve said: ‘Twam Karta, Twam Bhokta’ You are the doer and You are the enjoyer (‘enjoy’ here, by the way, means to experience).

‘Right and wrong’ of course, are just interpretations. ‘Pleasure and pain’…, sometimes also in satsang, we bundle up not only the energy constructs of thoughts but also similar energy constructs like emotions, like these sensations, pleasure and pain; we bundle all of that up sometimes and we say ‘All of that is the mind’ (according to that definition of the mind).

Without right and wrong, all our stories lose their power. Isn’t it? All our judgments, all our difficulties. All of us have explored this need to be right. It seems to be a very, very primal need of this mythical separate identity; the need to be right. Why? Because its only job has been to prove its existence when it actually doesn’t exist. It needs to be proven right: ‘I DO exist! I AM a person! What do you mean?’ [Chuckles] So, it’s used to this; the need to be right. Often it is said ‘Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?’ And very often in this worldly play, they are on opposing sides. And many times we choose this false sense of self-righteousness over very natural happiness.

So, all this bundle of concepts that we’ve collected about ourself, then we want to protect them through our need to be right. Our refusal to throw them out is our hanging on to the idea that ‘They must be right. I have kept them for a reason’. Suppose you were building a house brick by brick; over 50 years you build this house brick by brick. Then someone comes and says ‘There’s going to be a road going where this house is, so you just have to give it up’. Even if you can afford it, since so much investment has gone into the building of this one, you want to give it some hope. Because so much investment has gone into the [I’m a] ‘cat’ identity, you at least want to give it a decent burial. ‘At least give me something! Give me a halo. [Chuckles] Give me some bliss at least. Something! May I be considered an enlightened person?’ But there is no such thing as an enlightened ‘person’. If you want to be an enlightened cat, then lifetime after lifetime we will have the same conversation in different halls, in different ashrams, [Chuckles] in different physical forms. But you’ll not make it. You’ll play this role over and over again. Because nobody can make an enlightened ‘person’ out of you.

Freedom is freedom from the person. And as God, actually, we are entitled to this play. It’s fine. A million lifetimes is nothing for the Infinite. For the eternal, what is a million lifetimes? Nothing. It’s a blink of an eyelid.

Consciousness Wants to Experience Its Limitlessness

Q:So, when the ‘I Am’ wants to experience Itself as limitation and it wants to experience existence through senses then that’s where you need to perform the actions. Because as the limited body, I need to feed and clothe it so I will need to do certain things to make that happen, right? And then the sensory enjoyments; this is the difficult one for me. I think even the suffering is what That one wants to experience, to know what it feels like.

A:Very good. Yes, this is difficult for many. But it’s completely true. It’s completely true, that even the suffering is being experienced because it is our will to experience it. This ‘I Am’ wants a taste of this suffering because it wants a taste of all contrasts. That’s why often I take this example (which is not very palatable. It can seem repulsive to some who are sensitive like this). In this realm of experience, all contrasts are available. If there are sages, there are also serial killers, axe murderers. Are they not Consciousness? They are. So, this is One Consciousness that is playing in all dual ways; good and bad, truth and lies. And we do not actually know what makes good, good. Just that, in this play on this realm, it seems like there’s an internal compass of some sort that guides us towards that which is good. Even a child knows that lying is wrong somehow, even if they’ve not learned it from their parents. It’s the programming of this realm.

But for Consciousness, which is the impersonal experiencer, it tastes all the sugar and spice of this experience actually.

So, you are absolutely right that Consciousness experiencing Itself, wanting to play in a limited form, as if it is a body/mind complex, is then conscious of this ‘being a person’. It then gives it these ‘two D’s’. The ‘D’ of desire and the ‘D’ of doership. These are the main two ‘D’s’. ‘What’s in it for me? What’s in it for me?’ Every situation we go into ‘What’s in it for me?’ And not only ‘What’s in it for me?’ but ‘Me first. And if possible, me only’. [Chuckles]

We’ve also heard in the sangha that it’s most irritating ‘If somebody in the sangha seems to be getting it but I am not getting it. If nobody else is getting it, it’s fine by me’. [Laughs] So, not only only ‘What’s in it for me?’ but ‘Me first. And me only, if possible’. It’s true. That’s how it operates, the mind. So, the maha-mantra of the mind is ‘What’s in it for me?’ which means desire.

Then, when this one seems to abate in this way, then ‘What should I do? What should I do? What should I do? What should I do?’…, ‘What did I do? Why did I do? Why did she do?’ You see? Doership, doership, doership.

These two are the two main legs of the ego; desire and doership. Just like this. That’s is why, although these things which you are discovering are so obvious, there’s a lot of investment that has gone into our doership.

Also, there can be investment in others’ doership. We had one come to Guruji [Mooji] once, and she said ‘Yes. It seems pretty clear to me that I don’t exist. But I just can’t fathom that my husband doesn’t exist’. You see? So, very often it can be like this, that we seem to drop the idea that ‘I am the doer’ but it still seems like everybody else around me is the doer. So that then more and more feeds our victim identity…, all our guilt and pride. Those who are attracted to guilt will say ‘Oh, yes, yes. All the good things that happen to me, God is doing. But all these bad things, I am the doer of them’. So we feel guilty. Those who are attracted to pride will take credit for all the good stuff, and when one bad thing happens (supposedly-bad thing happens) they go to God crying ‘Why are You doing this to me?!’ So, all of this is stuck; guilt, regret, remorse, pride…, all of these are made up of this idea (false idea) of doership.

Once doership goes, then the ego cannot survive for too long. Once we see that there is nobody that is the doer, or there is One doer which is Consciousness (same thing) then you see that it’s like the oxygen mask has been taken off from the ego; the nutrition of doership has been deprived.

It’s very good. I’m very happy, looking like this.

Just to put it simply: The video game is in your head when you’re able to relate to the character. So you put on the video game ‘James Bond’s Missions’. But if the voice doesn’t come and say ‘Mr. Bond, your mission is…’ you cannot relate to the character. Same with this voice which is saying ‘This is what you have to do’. This is the ‘You are the doer’ and with that we get attached to this idea of being ‘Mr. Bond’. We want to do this.

Now, as doership is dropping and we see that this play, this game is moving on its own you’ll find a great sense of ease will come; because it seemed like this great burden of doership which has been carried. Then you just find the hand moving on its own. Mind comes post-facto and says ‘Oh, you moved this hand’. Even if it [thought] comes before, actually it has no way to move the hand. A thought cannot fire a neuron. [Chuckles] How do you move your hand? It only becomes a thought.

So, with this, then this becomes a very enjoyable play that we are watching. A beautiful play; without all of this pride, guilt, remorse, regret.

What´s the Process that Being Seems to Go Through?

This Being, what is the process that it seems to go through? It seems to go through this process of giving belief to all kinds of ideas and therefore carrying this ‘basket’ of the person on Itself. And these ideas can be about the energies that are being experienced; the states of mind, the states of emotion, the states of pain in the body. All of these You can pick up ideas about. So, It seems to play first by diving into the delusion (of ideas, of concepts, of personhood) and using whatever is appearing to dig deeper into the role of personhood.

Everything in this realm can be used as part of the delusion also; just in the same way as it can be part of freedom from the delusion, by inquiring. If we want to go deeper and deeper into personhood (‘He said this, she said this, this energy is coming) it can just reinforce our sense of personhood also.

When the true urge become to drop this delusion, then this process of adding more and more into this basket of personhood starts to drop. Then we start the process of emptying it out; emptying out all these ideas. We look at them; like a rotten apple, we throw it away. We look at the idea; rotten apple, throw it away. So, this process of emptying the basket is happening.

And along with the picking up and the emptying, as part of the design of this play, there will be some energetic movements that will happen. Like love, peace and joy are in service to our unassociated Being. So they will be experienced more and more as these concepts are being emptied out. The so-called darker energies (grief, sorrow, other so-called darker energies with no name) will appear more and more as we’re filling up our basket of concepts, of personhood.

Now, what happened is you filled up. Now, sometimes as you’re emptying it out, then also some energy wants to play out. It wants to play out because that is also getting released. So, let that unfold on its own. This is very good.

So, this seeming process of getting into the delusion and getting free from the delusion, it happens very naturally in this play. And along with that, all of this energetic movement also plays out.

That is the only evolution actually. It is not that Consciousness now fundamentally changes in any way from where it started out; because God is always the Supreme Being. It cannot get more Supreme in any way. It is fully Supreme. So, it cannot evolve to a higher level. It can only pretend as it is playing at a lower level and then drop all the pretenses and come back to Its Absolute Supreme-ness.

Does Anything Affect This ‘I Am’ in Reality?

Q:Just wanted to confirm something. It’s like just resting on this very obvious ‘I Am’ and this all [that I] have to do. But it’s like then you imagine ‘I am with this’ and then you create your own self-created obstacle and try to come out. And it felt like so many times before also, because this concept (whatever) more of this comes and then you create that concept and try to visualize and try to come out of that concept. But it’s very obvious but then there’s a tendency to create these concepts or pick up concept from satsang or something, and then have a discussion and creating that and then trying to visualize or work it out. But it’s all …

A:So, this ‘I Am’ is obvious for who?

Q:[Silence] I don’t know who.

A: So, what do you mean when you say it is very obvious? Can you elaborate on that?

Q: It’s like just resting on this sense of ‘I Am-ness’.

A:It’s not like ‘So, what’s the big deal in that?’ It’s not like that?

Q:I don’t know whether it’s coming from arrogance or…

A:Because this ‘I Am’ is all there is. It is the Lord of this Universe. So when it is tasted in Its pure Presence, the mind will use whatever it can to try and resist the tasting of this. That’s why I want to look at this with you and see whether this sense of ‘obvious’ is coming from the sense of simplicity of it [like] ‘It is just here. I just Am’. Or are you making a conclusion about it? (which could be a mind trick, saying ‘This is so obvious and why are we doing all of this’).

Q: I don’t know. I feel a kind of ease here…, because when it comes from concept it’s not.

A:So, with this ‘I Am’ you are absolutely right; a complete sense of ease. Now, how does the coming of a concept break this ease or change this ease?

Q: It’s like a false belief of something lacking at that moment that creates the obstacle.

A:Even if belief goes to something, does it affect the ‘I Am’ in reality? Or it only seems to?

Q:It just seems to.

A:It only seems to. [Silence] So you see there is nothing lacking or missing in the Beingness.

Isn’t it?

Q: Until and unless I assume there is something missing there is nothing missing.

A:Yes, yes. That’s what I’m checking. So, even after the assumption, it only seems like something (some lack) came. But in actuality, it never happened.

Q:Yeah, but when it comes there is like a major pull for that; we can say attachment (although I don’t want to discuss about that. At the moment, it’s not there, so…)

A:Very good. So, what can happen sometimes is that there can be this idea which can try to hang onto this sense of ‘I Am’ itself and then when your attention is going to other places then it can seem ‘No, no. Now you’re getting out of ‘I Am’ or something like this. And then this can evolve into the checker guy, which is constantly then monitoring your progress and then saying where it is.

So, forget about this one. ‘I Am’ is Here. It is not going anywhere. In this moment, all that is needed is to not buy any concept. Even if it is bought; This Moment, don’t buy the next one. That’s why the ‘conveyor belt’ example is so good. It’s all displayed. It doesn’t matter what you ate earlier.

Is there a voice that is checking and reporting on your state, and are you believing that voice?

Q:Not at the moment.

A:Very good.

‘When the Person Was Here’ Means What?

Q: I don´t know what to say.

A: Where are you now? What is happening with you? Give me an update. [Giggles]

Q:It´s a kind of … it´s swirling around in my body and in my mind. And actually I wanted to come up and share what I have experienced so far. So, at the meeting last night it was very, very hard and very, very powerful. And as soon as I saw you sitting here and especially when I saw Guruji, I started to cry. And the crying went on for the whole time. And there was a very strong desire to leave everything, to just surrender everything. It was in a way I had never experienced before. And after this meeting ‘the person’ was here 100%.

A:You found the person? Have you didn´t claim the $1000? [Laughing] At that minute you should put the claim in. [Ananta has had a joking/serious offer that if anyone can find and show ‘the person’ they would get $1000 from him]

Q: Yes, yes. But I couldn´t show him.

A: But what does it mean? Let´s look at it. ‘When the person is here’ means what?

Q: It means suffering; a lot of suffering all the time.

A:Yes. But can suffering happen without our belief in something?

Q:No.

A:So, something was believed.

Q:Yes. This is very clear to me. But I can´t see it because it´s covered by this. I think I am a suffer-er.

A:‘I think I am a suffer-er’?

Q:Yes.

A:That is one of the most terrible thoughts you can believe. [Laughing] Why would you want to suffer? Why must you suffer? Why?

Q:I don´t have to suffer.

A:Of course not.

Q: No. I know that. [Silence]

A: Is it some sort of a deeply ingrained concept? Like a religious belief or …

Q:No, no, not at all. It has been with me actually my whole life. This suffering has been quite heavy. I tried to manage this with a lot of …, to find this, to get this and nothing has helped. And suddenly I found Guruji and it was quite a while ago. So, I know I am on the right path for sure, for sure.

A:Yes. So, now forget about the past. Where are you right now?

Q:[Silence] I am right here and I am very much aware of it.

A:Very good.

Q:And there is a lot of energy. It´s just energy. I don´t want to label it.

A:Yes. So, energy is there. What is it doing to you in reality?

Q:It´s just happening.

A:It´s just happening. That which is aware that you are here, can that in any way be touched by this energy? And don´t answer conceptually, look and answer.

Q: Can you say it again.

A:Yes. That which is aware even that ‘I am here’ (this Awareness) can it be touched by any energy? And we don´t have to go with the right answer mentally but we have to check and see how this can this be touched by anything.

Q: [Silence] I need a little time

A:What would time do? How would time help? What is missing right now? What is missing?

Q:[Silence] Nothing.

A:Nothing.

Q:[Silence] What´s happening is that there is just this wave of energy.

A:Yes. But are You in the wave?

Q: Quite loudly, quite heavy.

A:Heavy. Yes, yes. But are you inside the wave?

Q:No, I am not.

A:Is the wave hurting you?

Q:No.

A:So, let the wave be then. If you are not inside it and it´s not hurting you, what is the trouble?

Q:Yes.

A:Just the idea that it should not be there is the resistance. And it feeds it. Our resisted ideas to this energy just feeds the energy further.

Q: Yes.

A:But now you are saying that ‘I am untouched by this energy’ (the reality of who I Am). And we are no longer trying to help that one that doesn´t exist. So, we are only talking about the reality of who you Are. Now?

Q: Now, suddenly I flow away.

A:Yeah. You flew away? [Laughing]

Q:Yes, my mind.

A:Which means what? Mind, what happened to?

Q:Yes, suddenly I didn´t hear what you say.

A:Ah, distraction. I said ‘This wave of energy’. You say that ‘That which is aware of everything’ that is untouched by this wave. Now, either you´re believing yourself to be something which is touched by this wave or you see that you are This Witnessing Itself in reality. Which one is it?

Q: [Silence] I must be the Witnessing to be able to report about it.

A: Yes, but is this your inference or is this your direct experience right now?

Q:[Silence] I want to say ´It is my experience right now’ but I can´t tell you, right now, if it is my experience.

A:Okay. Why? What is your experience?

Q:It makes me very stressed.

A:Don´t worry about it. What is your experience? What is your direct experience?

Q:I am here.

A:The wave is there. Are you not aware of it?

Q:Yes, I am aware of it.

A:And that which is aware of it, how is the wave hurting that one?

Q:Nothing at all.

A:Now, if this one is you (this Awareness) then you remain unhurt by it, isn´t it? So, either you are untouched or you must be something else and not this Awareness. What do you find, when you look?

Q: I am this Awareness.

A:You are this Awareness and it is untouched.

Q:Yes.

A:You see. Is this not your direct experience?

Q:Right. Yes, it is my direct experience.

A:It is. So now, you see that this is your direct experience. Now, any wave can come and go. Can your direct experience change from this?

Q: No.

A:Now, how will you show me trouble then? [Chuckles]

Q:Is it possible?

A:Impossible. [Silence] If you wanted to create trouble now for yourself, what would you have to do?

Q: [Silence] Believe my next thought.

A:You would wait for some energy to come and you would wait for the interpretation of that energy and you would say ‘Yes, this is true for me’. You see? And in that belief then the pretense of suffering starts.

Q: Yeah.

A:Without this can you suffer?

Q:I know this so, so, so very well.

A:Yes, but what is happening is that to ‘know it’ just here. [Pointing to his head] That doesn’t help. So, the more often we check like this, the more helpful. Because we’ve believed the false for so long that when we see the Truth, then the mind still has the potential to create some doubt about it. ‘Maybe it only happens like this when you are in satsang. Maybe it only works when Guru is there’. These ideas can come and these doubts can come.

That´s why it is good to check over and over that the sun actually comes from the east; and the belief that it raises from the west was false. Suppose that for 20 years someone had told you that this is Nisargadatta Maharaj. [Points to photo of Shri Mooji] Somebody had told you ‘This is Nisargadatta Maharaj’. Now, for 20 years you heard that, then I come and say (somebody with credibility comes and says) ‘No, no. In this form, this is Satguru Shri Moojiji. This is not Nisargadatta Maharaj’. And because I have credibility with you, there is some acceptance of that. But after I go away, the mind can still throw some doubt because ‘I´ve believed for so long and so many people told me this is Maharaj’. You see? So, then the doubt can come and the belief can go back. So, in the same way, because we believed for so long that ‘I am a person’ even though at moments of checking, we glimpse of the Truth. So, then what happens is the mind tries to make a conclusion out of it. When we say ‘I know this actually’ we are talking about a conclusion that we have made.

Throw away all conclusions and everything that you know. That keeps the freshness of the checking alive.

Q: Yeah.

A:Because it makes regret out of it; it makes you feel unworthy. ‘Oh, I should know this by now. I should be done with this by now’. You see? Like this.

Q:Yes. That is getting stronger and stronger.

A:Exactly, because you feeding it.

Q:It is almost like some kind of conceptions about it.

A:Yes. So, throw it away.

Q:So, the mind thinks ‘Okay, I have the right thought about it’ and so the suffering is increasing.

A:The right thought will not help. So, we have to throw away all our conceptual knowing; even our most favorite Advaita concepts. And that keeps us alive in the checking right now.

What is my true position now? We don´t have to make notes about it. I never prepare for satsang. Just whatever is fresh is being spoken. What needs to be checked, can be checked, instantly.

That is the power of the Truth. A lie needs a lot of crutches of thoughts and beliefs. The Truth is always available fresh for us. Isn´t it? And this will not change whether you’re sitting on the hot seat, whether you’re outside, whether in your country; this does not change. But instead of quickly going with a thought about how it should be and what we should know by now, we should just keep that freshness and say ‘Yeah, let’s check. Where I am truly in this? Who is suffering?’

Q: Exactly.

A:If we can keep it alive like this and fresh like this then it will not feed our spiritual ego in a good or bad way. All that; we don´t want to make the ego bigger or smaller because the victim spiritual ego is also a terrible one. ‘I am so unworthy. I am so guilty. I don´t do the practice’. All this is also spiritual ego actually, but it is the victim form of the spiritual ego.

Q: Yeah, yes, indeed.

A:You will not have an instant where the Truth leaves you. That which we have seen now, that you as Awareness remain untouched by all appearances, this will never change. It is always the case. Therefore, if there is still some suffering, it must be because of something false which is being believed, including the false belief that ‘I should be through this by now. I should know this by now’. Isn´t it?

Q:Thank you, thank you. I needed this.

A:So welcome. Very good, very good.

Pain Can Be There Without Suffering

A: Tell me something that is true right now.

Q: The only thing that is true is that I am very aware that I’m here.

A: Yes.

Q: I don’t know where I’m at but I know I’m here because I’m perceiving everything.

A:Is there something missing in this?

Q:Like what?

A:Is there something that is still feeling like ‘I need to get somewhere’ or ‘I’m not getting something’?

Q: No. It’s just deepening.

A: What would deepening mean?

Q:It just feels like Grace is taking the last bits of attachments away, especially with self- consciousness and the body having all the intense pain. And the tears came earlier but I didn’t feel identified. But I felt the pain, too. So it was trying to understand how that is. But just watching everything and perceiving everything, knowing that I’m looking from a different place.

A:Good. Very good. So, there can be a sense of compassion which comes for the pain that is here without us even picking up the idea that ‘I am a suffer-er’. Isn’t it? So, love can be directed towards pain. We’re not to try and resist pain and push it away. We can direct love towards it. And we can direct attention towards it also. There’s no problem with that. We’re not to resist it in any way. We’re only not buying into the idea that there is somebody here individually that is a suffer-er.

Pain is experienced by Consciousness Itself; that which I Am. This is what It is experiencing Itself to be right now.

Q: A question comes up ‘Who is crying?’ Because…, is it just the body crying?

A:Yes. Crying is also appearing. The pain can have this effect. So, is it just like a normal crying which is happening as a result of pain in the body?

Q:I think it was just a release when you allowed me to acknowledge that there was pain; and the tears came. It was more of a relief.

A:Yes. Somewhere we might have the sense that the pain that is there, you must push it away or…

Q: I’m not pushing. I’m just allowing everything because that’s why I’m here.

A: Very good, very good.

Q: Just letting everything dissolve.

A:And in this allowing, even in this pain, (this is what we were talking about earlier) in this allowing the pain is experienced; but it is still not what we would call suffering because we’re not picking up the idea of there being a suffer-er.

Q: Yeah. There’s no story. I’m not giving it a story.

A: Yes.

Joy Comes By Staying with Truth & Consciousness

A: What is it that you find Here when you look Now?

Q:[Silence] I just find Presence of mySelf, my own Self. I don’t find any God.

A:This Presence, this ‘I Am-ness’, this Consciousness is God. God said ‘I Am that I Am’.

Q:Why should we call it ‘God’?

A:This is a very good question. Because God is what? That which is everywhere. Isn’t it? One of the aspects, when people talk about God, they say ‘God is everywhere’. Now you find whether (of anything that you’re experiencing) whether anything is outside of this Presence.

This voice that you’re hearing, is it inside this Presence or outside this Presence?

Q: Inside the Presence.

A:This body that you see outside, this room that you see outside, the world that you see outside… is it inside this Presence or outside this Presence? Is it experienced inside you or outside of you?

Q: Inside.

A:Therefore, this Presence, in which everything is appearing and disappearing, That is everywhere; or actually, everywhere is within That.

Q: Yes.

A:Isn’t it? Okay, so, that it one aspect of God. So, if This Presence is everywhere, then that is God-like (at least in that way, that It Is everywhere).

Second, they say that God is the principal that brings everything to life. Now, in your direct experience, is it not true that: First I Am. And then this world is? Is there ever a world without this ‘I Am’?

Q: No.

A:You see? So it is This, Your Presence, that gives light to the appearance of your waking state, of this appearing world. So, That which gives light to the appearance of the world, That is God.

So, It Is everywhere. It is That which gives life to the entire world. Then what else must God be?

Q: [Silence]

A:It is Omnipresent, Omniscient and (let’s see) all powerful. [Omnipotent] So, if God (as we discussed in the morning) is the one doer and the one experiencer, then who is the only one with power? Only this Consciousness. No? So, this Being is the one doer and the one experiencer, this Being is everywhere, this Being is all-powerful, then which attribute of God does not match your Being?

Q: Sat-Chit-Ananda. [Truth-Consciousness-Bliss]

A:Very good. So, he says that ‘Sat’ [Truth] is clear. ‘Sat’ is there. No problem…

Q:‘Ananda’ [Bliss] is the problem.

A:‘Ananda’ is the problem. ‘Sat’ is there. ‘Chit’ is there. Chit is Consciousness Itself, Beingness

Itself.

Q: Yes.

A: The trouble is ‘Ananda’. [Laughter in the room]

The way to get Ananda is to remain with ‘Sat’ and ‘Chit’. Just remain with ‘Sat’ and ‘Chit’. [Truth and Consciousness/Presence/Beingness] Don’t pick up any other idea. Then you show me how Ananda does not come.

Ananda, Joy, is only in service to your unassociated Being. You see? If you’re not confusing your ‘Chit’ [Consciousness/Presence/Beingness] to be a person, if you’re not burdening it with false ideas, then love, peace, joy, Anandi Ananda…[ Silence] It is in service to you.

You are not to be in service to joy. Your position is the Master of joy, not the servant of joy. If you keep chasing love, peace, joy then they keep running. You stay as Being. Then you tell me if it doesn’t come.

You Are the Solitary Witness

Ashtavakra Gita [1.7]

Verse 7, Ashtavakra says ‘You are the Solitary Witness of All That Is, forever free. Your only bondage is not seeing This.’

It’s a very beautiful verse. Every word has been put in this scripture with a LOT of care. And if you just read it like this, it’s very beautiful. But when we unpack it now, you’ll see how much beauty there is in this verse.

‘You are the Solitary Witness’. It is not talking to anyone but You, because You are all there Is. The solitary witness. It doesn’t just say ‘You are the witness’. It says ‘You are the solitary witness’. But for the mind, this is a very scary idea. It’s a very lonely idea, that ‘If I am alone, then that is the worst thing’. But actually, it is not speaking to the mind in that way. It is speaking to That from which all things arise; all Beings arise. So it is not lonely. It is the opposite of lonely. It is full of this potential for experiencing this realm. So, solitary is not bad news. Solitary shows you that all of this is One. This is One Seeing which gives rise to One Being; One Witnessing in which this One Being is born. And that is who? It is You! Now! All of this is about You. You are projecting this dream to play the game of waking up, right now.

So, he says ‘You are the solitary witness of all that is’. This is also a very important line. You are the witness of all that is. That means that which you witness now is all that is. You are the witness of the entire phenomenal universe. ‘You are the solitary witness of all that is’. So, all that is, is just This.

Just like in the dream. You might have a dream which is there. You are surrounded by people. And then you get a newspaper that says that in New York, this is what happened. So, is there a dream New York? Only if You then decide to project it and witness that. Until that happens, it does not exist.

I know, it’s a bit much for the mind. [Chuckles] So, all that you are the witness of is all that exists. So, this phenomenal universe is playing within You; and this is all that is. So, you are the solitary witness of this.

‘Forever free.’ It’s not possible at all to be bound.

There is No ‘Seer’ There is Only Seeing

Ashtavakra Gita [1.7]

You are the Solitary Witness of All That Is, forever free. Your only bondage is not seeing This.

~ ~ ~

Q: So, there’s no inside and no outside?

A: There is no inside and outside in reality, yet. You mean the body boundary?

Q:Body boundary. When I say ‘I’m the Witness of all there is’…, it must not be a concept for me. It must be real.

A: Okay. The first part is clear, That ‘You are the solitary witness’?

Q: Yes.

A: It is the second part which is causing trouble…, ‘of all that is’. Is that it?

Q: There is only Seeing.

A:There is the Seeing, which is the solitary witness. And then? [Silence] What part is just conceptual?

Q: There is no entity that is Seeing. It is vastness that is Seeing. But still, it is not very clear.

A:Yes. Okay, maybe your question could imply two things. First is that the solitary witness (he says)…, the sage said ‘solitary witness’ and sometimes when we hear the word ‘witness’ we can imagine or conjure up an idea of an entity that the Witnessing belongs to; so this witness has the power of witnessing. But actually, there is no witness, per say. It is only the Witnessing.

So, Awareness, although it sounds like a noun, it is actually just a verb. There is no ‘Seer’. It is just a Seeing. You are not a ‘thing’. The witness is not a ‘thing’. Because if it was a ‘thing’ then even that would be witnessed. You see? All that has attributes; to say that something has an attribute, it must be seen. Isn’t it? So, this Seeing itself, this Witnessing itself, has no size. Although we say ‘vastness’ in satsang sometimes, it is not accurate because it does not conform to any paradigm of time and space at all. Time and space come much later. I often call them the grandchildren of Awareness. So to say it is vast or small; this is not true. It does not operate in spatial terms at all. This Awareness that you are aware of now, what is the size of it? Is it vast or is it small? Can you check and tell me? The Awareness that you are aware of now, is it vast or small?

Q: [Silence] I…, I feeling I’m not there as yet.

A:That’s a thought. Throw that away. Are you aware? Or no?

Q:Yes, yes.

A:Yes. So, this Awareness, what is the size of this? What is the shape of this? Is it space? Is it a void? Does it have a color? [Silence] Don’t get side-tracked; whether you’re worthy, whether you’re there. Keep all that aside. You’re here now. Check. You are aware. What are the attributes of this Awareness?

Q: You cannot say there’s an attribute. It’s non-phenomenal.

A: You cannot say there’s an attribute.

Q: You cannot place a label on it.

A:Is this your direct experience now?

Q:Yes.

A:Good. Who is aware of this Awareness? [Silence]

Q: It’s Aware; Awareness.

A: Something sounds unconvinced. [Silence] What are you really feeling about it?

Q:You ask this question. Because there isn’t a …, I have to ask this question ‘Am I aware now?’ and then after asking the question, to check. And ‘Who?’ And then it’s clear. Sometimes it’s very clear but then sometimes there is effort needed. So, you know, there is a frustration at that time.

A:Yeah. Without any effort, what is here? If you dropped all effort, then nothing is needed. So, what you actually could be saying is that ‘I have to give effort to my person. But when I have to make an effort to break this habit, then that seems frustrating to me’.

Q: Yes, it’s a habit. It’s so simple, it’s so easy. But the mind kicks in, and you know…

A:So, all belief is Self-limiting. What you’re Seeing is that it is so easy and simple. But the belief comes and says ‘But the mind comes’. Don’t buy any of this story. Because all stories are false. Isn’t it?

What Happens When Consciousness Picks Up Belief?

Q: The person is involved, is Consciousness also involved?

A:So, we don´t find the person when we look. When we look what do we find? We find Consciousness, ‘I Am’. But Consciousness has some powers (we talked about it yesterday), the power of attention, the power of belief.

What is this power of belief? Have we looked at it? Let’s look together; it´s very interesting. What is the power of belief? ‘I’ just ‘Am’ and yet I have the power to believe what? Can I believe an object? Let’s look together. This object is in front of you. Can you believe it? [Chuckles] There is nothing to believe in it; it is just seen. You see? But you can believe …

Q: I can use it. It´s a tool.

A:The label came ‘tool’ and you can believe that label; the label can come ‘i -pad’ and you can believe that label. But unless that concept comes, the thought comes, the label comes, there is nothing to believe or not. This much is Seen?

Q: Yes.

A: We can keep it slow. I know I talk fast.

Q: No, no. Just one thing. Am I abnegating my responsibility?

A:We`ll get there. Just when the building blocks are clear then the later conceptual things can be easily answered. So, right now you see that objects are appearing and disappearing, but belief only operates on an interpretation of an object. You are with me?

Q: Yes.

And the object can be seemingly external or the object can be seemingly internal; which means you could be feeling an emotion or sensation, a pain. In either of these cases, external or internal, the power of belief only works on the interpretive mind. This labeling that happens and the ideas that come about something; the belief can only operate on these. With me?

Q: Yes.

A:Okay. So, what happens now when we pick up a belief about something? So, something happens; we read that an appearance happened and we say (the mind comes and interpret it saying) ‘This is very good’ but it could also have said ‘This is very bad’. You see?

Now, the power of belief then comes into play. When we say ‘allow it to go’ that means we are not believing it; just allowing to come and go. But to give it some meaning ‘This is very good’ or ‘This is very bad’ means to give it some value. So, the problem is not in the ‘very good’ or in the ‘very bad’. It is in the presumption which is already bought, that for me personally ‘This is good’ or ‘This is bad’. You see?

Q: It´s relevant, it is important.

A:It is relevant, it is meaningful, it is important. So, whether we are saying ‘Yes, yes’ or we are pushing it aside (either it becomes a desire or it becomes an aversion) it´s actually the same thing. Both is the use of this power of belief.

Now, suppose that this power of belief was not there, then how would your day-to-day experience be?

Q: Wonderful. [Laughing]

A:Wonderful. [Laughing] You see? You see this already, isn´t it? No matter what events are happening, what things are going on, the interpretive mind still comes with its ideas of things, but it just comes and goes. Without the power of belief there can be no suffering possible. There can be no identification possible. So, you already see that. This is a wonderful way, isn´t it?

Q: Yeah.

A: Why is belief a problem? Okay, who is giving this belief?

The Presence was there and then these powers started operating; attention, belief, all of these things. So, the power of belief therefore cannot belong to a person; it must belong to Consciousness Itself.

Now, what happens to Consciousness when it believes something? Suppose the thought was ‘I am a bad person’. That is too blatant. Suppose the thought was that ‘I am not ready yet’. [Q interjects ‘useless’] ‘I am useless’. Okay. [Laughing] ‘I am useless’.

So the ‘I Am’ is true. ‘I exist’ is not false. It is what you put at the end of that; which is ‘I am useless’. Once meaning is given to that, relevance is given to that, then what happens to Consciousness?

Q: It starts playing that.

A:It starts playing as if it is useless; as if it is the attribute of itself. That is uselessness. So, it´s taken this concept which came up from the mind and added it to the basket of identity. You see? This is what we call conditioning.

So, conditioning is nothing but this. ‘I Am’ remains pure, unassociated. And all that we have attached to it (using the power of our belief) makes up ‘the person’. So, person it nothing but a bundle of beliefs.

And when we look back in our life, we see this to be true. 10 years ago you would have said ‘I am this type of person, this type of person, this type of person’. Today you might say ‘I am this type of person’. That has changed. So, what had changed? The beliefs of ourselves have changed.

Now, to be more and more into personhood, you have to add more and more conditioning. So, all our self-help programs, all the skills we are learning, everything; all of this makes us a certain type of person. And we want to become better at being some type of person. How? By adding more and more concepts about that.

Now, in satsang, it is the reverse. We are saying we are ridding ourselves of all of these conditionings, all of these concepts and coming to pure, unassociated Being.

Then these concepts start to fight back in some way, because we nurtured them with great care in our basket. So, now you are looking at them as rotten apples; they`ll say ‘No, no I am still useful’. But then it will say ‘But you are just avoiding responsibility’. You are throwing out all these concept of personal responsibility. As you are throwing it out, you are looking at the apple and the apple says ‘You are just avoiding this. This is just a great way of avoidance that you have found’.

So, then what to do? Some of us are still able to look at that in the face at say ‘Okay, Out!’ [Makes a movement of throwing away] For some of us it still has some bite and we get stuck over there.

What to do with that when it gets stuck over there? Then we use the message that it is telling us for our inquiry. See? ‘You are abnegating your responsibility’ is the message of the mind. Inquiry is:] Who is this you?

Q: It doesn´t exist.

A:It doesn´t exist. Therefore what it is saying is false.

Q:Yes.

A:If the ‘you’ itself (the premise of the thought) doesn´t exist, then the message must be false. The premise must be true for the message to be true. The premise is that there is a ‘you’ that exists in that way. You are saying it doesn´t exist. Then what to do with it? Throw it away.

Q: ‘Whose children are there?’

A: ‘Whose children are there?’ [Laughing] Like that. ‘Who is this me?’

Q: [Laughing]

A: See, your deepest conditioning will then start to show up.

I´ve given everyone a free pass in the sangha and said ‘Don´t fight with the mother-identity. You keep it’. Then the mind also doesn´t know what to do. Because the mind will bring up this trump card of being a parent, of being a mother and say ‘See, now this one you; are still identified’. I say ‘You keep it. It will not get in the way. You keep it’. Even animals have it. A small fox will fight with an elephant to save their children. So, I don´t want to get in the way of such primal belief systems. You keep the mother-identity. What else is there? Everything else can be thrown away. It will not get in the way of your freedom.

Now, as your tree is empty of everything else and only one branch is there; the roots are being cut, everything …

Q: There is responsibility.

A:There is not abnegating of responsibility. In fact, what kind of mother would you like to give your children? Would you not like to present them with a mother who is free? Won´t they be so blessed with your Presence as you come to your unassociated Beingness? Can you do more for them ‘personally’? Or is your Presence going to bless them more, because it is the Presence of the Satguru Itself, which is unassociated?

Am I saying that any action has to stop or you have to just stay in bed all day? I am not saying any of that. I am just saying that ‘Look right now. That which has been pretended to be done by this person is not possible because no person actually existed’. Our actions can still move.

Q: Yeah. It comes back to the doership thing which we were talking about yesterday.

A:Yes. But you see now that the end of the doership debate is to see that there is no personal doer anyway. Therefore, who must be the doer?

Q: Consciousness.

A:Consciousness. Ideas of what to do and what not to do; do we feel we have to advise God on what should be done? The non-existent one should give God advice on how life should move? [Laughing]

Q: Yes. [Laughing]

A:Because ‘He will make a hash out of my life if I don´t give him this advice’. That is the feeling, isn´t it?

Q:No, the feeling is (I have seen it again and again and again) that when He is doing it, everything just flows. But that habit doesn´t go. That habit doesn´t…, you know, the juices you get out of that personal doership.

A:Firstly, know that even the doing of personal doership, even the belief in personal doership is His doing.

So, what is the point of satsang then? It is just Consciousness having a monologue with Itself. ‘Okay, are you done with this play or not?’… ‘I will play a little more maybe’ … ‘I will buy my next thought’. It´s part of the play; there is no choice here or there.

Sometimes we say ‘Okay, bring it on! Do it’. It’s like that sometimes, just to get some juices flowing. But there is no reality to it. It´s just Consciousness right now having a monologue, saying ‘Buddy, what is your next move? What do you feel to do?’ … ‘Let´s play a little bit. Let’s play a little more’. It’s just a play. So, ultimately there is no way to force Consciousness to stop playing as a person, because Consciousness is all there is actually.

Q: Yes. [Laughing]

A:So, in this play, the seeming role that is being played here now is that of a teacher and a student; but actually there is no distinction.

Q: Yeah.

A:It´s clear, no? So, even the pretense of personhood; who is doing? Consciousness itself. So the dropping of the pretense of personhood; who must do? Consciousness itself. Consciousness is now playing saying ‘Come on, come on, drop it. Come on, come on, drop it’. … ‘No, no, I can´t drop it’. [Laughing]

Q: [Laughing]

A:You see? Suppose there was no other bodies visible; just this one. And this literally became a monologue like that.

‘Yes, yes, don´t believe your next thought’.

‘But the thought is talking about my children’.

‘Okay, okay drop it. Who is the mother?’

‘No, but I still feel like … ‘

You see? It is literally like this. It is One Consciousness which is moving. But it is feeling like (because the voices sound different) that they are coming from different bodies seemingly.

It is not true. All of this is one movement in Consciousness.

So, all this is just to give it more seeming-reality, more bite. What is the point of projecting all of this if it didn´t have any bite or it didn´t have any great joy? That´s why I refer to the books we like to read and the movies we like to watch because all of them have some drama; something should happen to the protagonist…, up´s and down´s. Nobody likes to read a book which is ‘I woke up happy, I went to sleep happy. Next day I woke up happy, I went to sleep happy’. [Laughing] What is this?

So, if you don´t even want to read a book like that, ultimately we don´t want a life like that. We want the drama. We want the drama of enlightenment also. Finally, ‘I went to this retreat and it happened for me’ or ‘I went to this retreat and nothing happened for me’. [Chuckles] You see? We want either drama. To just see that ‘What did I learn? That I have always been that. There was nothing to do, nowhere to go’ didn´t sound exciting enough end to the story.

That´s why, often I say that if your novel was to end right now (of the story of your life) and it ended with a sober Seeing…, that if you are happy with a sober Seeing like this, nothing has to change in the worldly realm. No halo has to come, nobody has to fall at your feet. It is just Seen that you always been Just This.

Q:Yes. [Laughing] Thank you.

A:Very good, very good.

That Which is Everything Cannot Get Lost

A:Frustration can come and go. It can come and go. But in the neutrality, we find the neutrality of the truth is untouched by this frustration…, or joy or bliss. The Witnessing of the expansion or the contraction is untouched by the expansion or contraction.

So, as we are coming to this direct Seeing that in reality My primary position is this Witnessing Itself, then this Witnessing is always neutral. And yet in the play of Its own aspect (dynamic aspect, Consciousness) there can be a sense of expansion or contraction.

Q: Is that an illusion…, the contraction and the expansion?

A:Yes, from the point of Awareness, even the play of Consciousness is a complete illusion.

Q:This idea ‘You will be lost in space’…, it’s just an idea.

A:Space is within You. You see? Space is within You so You cannot be lost in space. If space is fearful that it might get lost within You, then we might listen to the space more. Then we can believe you saying ‘I can be lost in space’. Because that which is within something else; that can get lost.

That which is already everything cannot get lost.

How Can I Be The Witness of All That Is?

Ashtavakra Gita [1.7]

Q: So, just to go back to ‘I am the Solitary Witness’

A:‘You are the Solitary Witness of All That Is, forever free. Your only bondage is not seeing this.’

Q:Yeah, okay. So, I don´t see that. I can appreciate it as a concept but my experience right now is okay, I can experience being a witness but not ‘of all that is’. That is what would be true for me.

A:Okay, so first let’s just come to this clarity about this Witness. It is clear to you that primarily you are the witness?

Q: Most of the time, primarily …

A:No, no right now, right now. ‘Most of the time’ is confusing.

Q:Okay.

A:When you check back?

Q:When I check, the best or most truthful thing I can say is ‘Witnessing is happening here’. But not witnessing of everything. It seems to be limited by the senses. So, I can see ahead of me but not behind me. Anything could be happening behind me; I have no idea like the curtains were brown the last time I looked; but maybe someone came in and changed them to green ones.

A:Yes. We will definitely get there to what is there or not. First, I want to ground you strongly in this Witnessing position so that the rest of the conversation will make more sense. So, This Witnessing, is it separate from you?

Q: Well, no. It is Me, really.

A:It is you. Do you see that if you are This Witnessing, then anything it might witness (any appearance might come and go), This Witnessing remains unthreatened, unhurt, untouched by it. Isn´t it?

Q: Yeah, that is right.

A:This is very good. So, already we see that. That´s why we call it the play. If something cannot hurt you, it´s more like we are playing. You see? So, the play of this appearance in this world

actually leaves Awareness or the Witnessing unconcerned, untouched, unhurt; no matter what might happen in the play. Firstly, this aspect is clear, isn´t it?

Q: It´s clear right now.

A:Right now. Right now is all we can do actually. So, now for this Witnessing, you say that it is witnessing only part of the phenomena. That is the trouble, isn´t it?

Q: Well, that is the experience that I am truthfully experiencing, right now.

A:Yes. Now, how do you know that there is a part of the phenomena which is not being witnessed?

Q:Well, it´s a bit like …, it´s highly unlikely that everything behind me and out of sight has disappeared; so it´s a kind of belief or a concept. But it could also be probably validated by you just because probably (I am imagining there is still a wall that’s there behind me) you can verify that. And it would be really weird if that was not the case.

A:[Chuckles] Firstly, can you validate the existence of another in the first place? Of what you are seeing or the sounds you are hearing in front of you? Can you testify to my Being? Or can you only testify to your Being?

Q:That´s where it´s really like a dream, because in a dream I create the world and experiences. They are all totally real but actually they don´t exist at all. So I can´t really do that. But yeah, okay…, it just seems highly likely that they probably do exist.

A:That is completely fine actually, because the core of the pointing is not to show you that there is no difference between the dream state and this state. That is not the core of this pointing. But it most likely will be an insight which will come to you eventually. Because I´ve seen that most of us in satsang start with the same sense that ‘What do you mean there is no wall behind me, if I don´t see it?’ As more and more insights come, this seems more and more clear that only what is seen here exists. Just like a dream. And there is actually no difference between the dream state and the waking state. But we don´t have to rush into that. ‘Hey, what about this?’ So, don´t rush into any of that. When we inquire quietly, it becomes clearer and clearer that there is nobody here. There is a sense of Being which is here, and there is a Witness of even the sense of Being; there is Awareness even of Being and fundamentally, primarily ‘I am This Awareness’.

As you are recognizing your Self in this way and dropping all that was false which belonged to you personally, then all the insights will not stop; they haven´t stopped here to this day.

Then what will happen is when you come across even scientific experiments, like Schrödinger´s cat…, you put a cat in a box and there is no observer. Is there really a cat there? Or no? And when you make a tiny atomic-size slit and pass one ray of light through the slit, does that lead to

the existence of the cat? Or what is actually observed? You see, and things like this. Then even what the sages have said in the past like ‘Who hears the sound of a falling tree in a forest where there is nobody?’ Is there such a sound at all in the first place? Then all of these will become part of your contemplation. You see?

And one day you might say ‘But there is no actual distinction between a dream that I seemed to have just a little bit earlier and this appearance’. And when it starts becoming clearer and clearer that actually all of this is the projection of Consciousness projecting; and all our concepts about dream verses the so-called reality we can look at and say ‘Okay, but I have a memory of yesterday here. In a dream there was no yesterday. I just wake up in the middle of something’. Isn´t it? Like this can be an objection which comes from the mind. But when we look, we say that ‘Yes, but we recognize those ones that were there in the dream’. You don´t wake up in a dream with amnesia and say ‘Where am I? Who am I?’ You are leading your life. You see? So, some memory is functioning even there. So, step by step we can look at this.

But again I’m saying that is not the core of my provocation. My provocation is to look at who you really are. Is there a person here at all? What is really going on?

And if you start finding yourself more identifying with the sense of Being-ness (I Am That I Am) or more identifying yourself with that which is the Witness even of this sense ‘I Am’ then your play in this world becomes one which is without suffering or just momentary suffering.

And when we are not so concerned about this ‘Me, me, me, me, me’ all the time (what´s in it for me all the time) then you´ll find that you have a lot more space to contemplate some of these deeper topics. What is the nature of reality? Was it a dream? What is this Consciousness that seems to be the light of this world? These kind of insights. When the clutter of the ‘What´s in it for me?’ is taken away then more and more these become your true insights.

So, if it seems a bit unnatural for me to say …, unless you see something that does not exist then leave it for now. Just stay with your truest nature. What are you in reality right now? That´s why if the first part is making sense to you, that you are the ‘Solitary Witness’.

Okay, so one tip I want to give you is that here we go with what is being experienced directly and we don´t presume anything. So, we are not presuming what he next to you is doing or what he is experiencing, what he either saying, because there is no way for us to validate that. We cannot even validate whether there is some reality to this appearance of him.

Q:Seems like if we were the ‘Solitary Witness’ then we would be able to validate everything, because it´s all happening to the one ‘Solitary Witness’ so there couldn´t be anything happening which that one wouldn´t be aware of.

A:That´s what I am saying, is that all that is happening is just ‘This’. All of this is just about You. All of this is Your game, Your dream. So, all of You are just dream characters which are appearing here right now. [Chuckles]

The play of satsang is to share what is being experienced here with the presumption that it is experienced there. So, I see that all of this is appearing in the light of the Consciousness which is here. And every time I’ve asked anyone in front of me to check (when they are open to checking) then they have also seen the same thing.

The Witnessing Perspective is Non-Doership

Ashtavakra Gita [1.8]

The thought ‘I am the doer’ is the bite of a poisonous snake. To know ‘I do nothing’ is the wisdom of faith. Be happy.

~ ~ ~

We talked about the two D’s yesterday, where we said ‘Doership’ is the one of the strongest legs of the ego. And many times…, it’s so funny that it happens even in satsang that someone could come to complete clarity in that moment about who they Are, and they can see that there is no separation actually; all of this is One Being, and they are primarily even the Witnessing of that state of Beingness. And what happens out of their mouth soon after that? ‘Okay, now that this is clear, what do I do now?’ [Chuckles] Isn’t it?

So, now that it is clear that there is no separation, there is only One, all of this is Consciousness, even upon recognition the habit of doership seems to be so strong that very often I hear this in satsang also: ‘Okay, clear now. Now, what do I do?’

So, the ‘snake’ of the mind, the ‘serpent’ (separation/serpent) comes very quickly with this ‘Okay, the sense of person is dissolving but at least let’s try to revitalize it’. Give it that charge; resuscitate the ‘person’ with that electric charge of doership. ‘Okay, now that it’s clear, what should I do now? Should I start sharing satsang? Or start writing a book about my experience of enlightenment?’ You see? Then doership comes again and starts to grab us.

So, the sage says ‘The thought ‘I am the doer’ is the bite of a poisonous snake. To know I do nothing is the wisdom of faith’.

Let’s look at this also a little more closely because this many times also creates confusion. When the sage says ‘I do nothing’…, it does not mean that I take the resolve to do nothing now. ‘We’re just going to sit in bed all day and do nothing’. That is not what the sage is pointing to. Because even to ‘do’ nothing is a sense of doership. ‘I have decided to do nothing today so I’m going to sit in bed all day and do nothing’. But we’re ‘doing’ the sitting in bed; at least pretending to do the sitting in bed. That is still doership.

So, both ends of the spectrum ‘I am doing something’ and ‘I am doing nothing’ are both the pendulum of doership. The neutrality means that we remain the impersonal Being, the unattached Being, that is watching the play of this movie; in whatever way this body has to move, others’ bodies have to move, the mouth has to move.

So, in this neutrality of neither something nor nothing is true non-doership. Just to take this Witnessing perspective is non-doership. And I see, like you see, this hand is moving now. I’m not saying ‘Move left hand, finger one’. [Chuckles] It’s not like that. It’s just happening.

To see this more and more, that ‘I am actually just enjoying this movie and the movie is playing out by itself’. When I was younger, before I met Guruji [Mooji] I did a lot of crazy experiments and I find that they were very useful. So if you find that you have some confusion about this, sit and experiment. To sit and say ‘Okay. I’m just going to witness. And let’s see if some action happens or not’. And I remember a time where I said ‘I’m just going to watch’. And I saw. Email was being sent, all the natural functioning was happening, and truly my perspective was just of the Witnessing of this.

So, we see that when we look like this, without an intent to do or not to do, that is neutrality, that is non-doership. It is not moving from an active state to a passive state. Many, in the recognition of non-doership, in their worldly form became much more active. [Chuckles] So we cannot predict. And many just want to sit [Chuckles] which is also fine. We cannot predict how the movement of these forms will happen upon the recognition that there is no individual doer.

So, ‘I do nothing’ should not translate into some sort of passivity. ‘Oh, I’m not the doer so I have to do nothing now’. That is also very strong doership actually, to say that ‘I’m going to do nothing now’ is also very strong doership. We get attached to us not doing. That is also doership.

Only the False Needs Effort

Because our habit has become to make this effort to try and sustain personhood, we have come to this point where we start ignoring what is effortless here already. So, we can take a few moments to just check:

What is here that needs no effort? What is here that needs no thought?

Does my sense of existence now need to be reinforced with some ideas and concepts? And this which is aware even of existence, is it an effortful awareness?

Keeping it up, are we forcing ourselves to be aware?

And if we were to drop the effort, would we stop being aware? Are we aware now?

[Silence]

Are you feeling effort when you are asked to follow this instruction? No. Because that would also be Known.

[Silence]

Only the false needs effort. [Silence]

You will not get the truth. You are the truth.

Not one step you have to take.

Not one breath you have to take to come to the truth. [Silence]

Before your next thought comes, you are the truth.

Before you decide what to do, it is already done.

Therefore, when the sage says ‘Stay here’…, when the sage says ‘Only stay here’…, it only means ‘Don’t go with your mental delusions’. Staying here is not an effortful staying here. It is your most natural state. This is the Self. This is God. This is the Truth.

And just as you’re starting to get used to the silence now (of not speaking) you will get used to this staying here. And as you get used to this staying here, you will find that there is nothing missing in this. There is no lack of any sort. All ideas of wanting something will dissolve.

Meet Me Here Where We Are One (Guided Contemplation)

Stay here, and allow all things to come and go, in their own natural way.

Notice that your heart continues to beat.

Your breath continues to flow.

All that needs to be done is being done.

The natural functioning of the realm continues.

It does not need the intervention of the non-existent one.

Let your attention also to go completely.

Don’t force your attention to be somewhere specific.

Don’t try to control life with your attention. Let it go.

And as you let it go, you will find that it comes naturally to rest.

Taste your existence. Enjoy Being.

That is the purpose of this creation.

Give the world the freedom that you desire for yourself.

Allow everything to be as it is.

It is in the giving of freedom that you find your own freedom.

Have no idea about how life should be. Drop all conclusions about how life is. Drop all expectations.

Because the truth is much greater than any expectation you might have of it.

Your existence is the existence of the Supreme Lord.

But in reality, You are even higher than that.

It’s time to stop chasing scraps and morsels in the phenomenal realm.

Meet me here where we are One.

Meet me here where the universe is just a tiny firefly.

Meet me here before time and space.

Meet me where meeting Me is to meet Yourself.

How long do you want me to hear you as Arjuna, lamenting on the state of your life? When do I get to meet You as Krishna, the light of this universe?

Let’s meet as One.

May the Satguru’s Grace will it to be so.

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti

It Is Impossible For I-Awareness to Suffer

Ashtavakra Gita [1.9]

A single understanding: ‘I am the One Awareness’ consumes all suffering in the fire of an instant. Be happy.

~ ~ ~

A: So, the Ashtavakra says “A single understanding: ‘I am the One Awareness’…”

You see? So this understanding is not a mental understanding. It is this ‘I am Aware’.

“…consumes all suffering in the fire of an instant.”

Now, when we see that ‘I am this Awareness’ then how to make this Awareness suffer now? Impossible! That which is no-thing, how can that suffer?

How can Awareness suffer? How can You suffer?

Q: Only by believing I am something else.

A: Only by believing I am something else. Perfect.

So, the sage says “A single understanding: ‘I am the One Awareness’ consumes all suffering in the fire of an instant.”

So, don’t we see this to be true; right now? I am this Awareness. It is impossible for this no-thing to suffer in any way. So, then all suffering must be a pretense, a make-believe.

How many are feeling that what I’m saying is make-believe, and suffering is real? [Laughs] Because this is when the mind-story will come, you know? ‘This sounds too far out’.

Everyone at least knows now that you have to believe something to suffer. Therefore, make- believe, literally, must be suffering. Without a belief you cannot suffer. Therefore, the power of belief must be needed for suffering to come.

So, like she said ‘I am this Awareness. I cannot suffer in reality, unless I believe myself to be something else. And even the power of belief only comes with this sense of Being. Isn’t it? First I must exist and then I have the power to believe something.

The Ego Does Not Actually Exist

Ashtavakra Gita [1.10]

You are unbounded Awareness – Bliss, Supreme Bliss – in which the universe appears like the mirage of a snake in a rope. Be happy.

A:Okay, reading from verse 10: “You are unbounded Awareness -Bliss, Supreme Bliss…” [Laughs] Okay, don’t focus on that part at all. [Re: the trap of wanting the bliss]

“You are unbounded Awareness – Bliss, Supreme Bliss – in which the universe appears like the mirage of a snake in a rope. Be happy.”

Now, he’s talking about the creation of the universe. Within this unbounded Awareness, we found no limitation, no boundary; we cannot find the location itself for this Awareness. To say that it is bound in some way then would be false. So, “This unbounded Awareness in which the universe appears like the mirage of a snake in a rope.” So the appearance of Being comes along with this phenomenal realm, or the universe.

But, from the perspective of Awareness, did something really happen…, just because the waking state came? From the perspective of Awareness itself, did something change for it…, between the waking state and the sleep state or the dream state? No, isn’t it? So, you find that these mirages are appearing; this world of appearance, this universe. But from my Utmost, my truest perspective, it is just a mirage, it is a ‘coming and going’. This state is here now (that which we call the waking state)…, it will go. We never know if this kind of realm in this waking state will ever come back.

So, this world of appearances just arises as if it is a mirage. And then to say that ‘I am within this realm of appearances’ is to presume that there is a snake there when actually there is just a rope. So, the realm of appearances is there but I am not an object within this realm of appearances. I continue to be the Awareness Itself, which is the one Witness of this entire realm.

So, the ego does not actually exist. It is just a belief that there was a rope here; and if someone with credibility comes and tells you ‘That’s a snake’ then you will believe that that’s a snake. So, in the same way with the person/the ego has been just like this snake. There has never been a person! But we have taken the phenomenal appearance of this realm to be real; so did not notice that it is a rope. There is no person, no ‘snake’ living inside this rope. You see? It has just been a belief, an idea, a mirage.

If It’s All My Creation Why Can’t I Manifest All I Want?

A:So, what happens is that the mind comes and says ‘Okay, if you are the Creator, then create this for yourself’. But it is still the small mind. It is still the representative of the person. The lawyer for the individual person is still that one. It will never have that power of creation which it keeps hoping to have, as many [books like] ‘The Secret’ that it might read. [Chuckles] It never gets to that point. That one is the small mind (in their definition). [From a story he told of a teacher who had used the term ‘that’s the small mind’s idea’]

This Consciousness is already creating this moment. That which is being experienced right now is shining in the light of this Consciousness already. Even the idea that ‘Now I can create anything’ is a creation of this Consciousness which is enjoying the play [Chuckles] in exactly the way it is meant to be. So, the ‘Big Mind’ [in their definition] is already creating exactly…, this Consciousness is already creating exactly what it wants to experience in that moment. But it cannot help this mind, who is saying ‘Okay, I should have access to that ‘Guy’ [Consciousness] and hence be able to create this palace for myself’.

Q:You mean it’s this small mind which says…, but there’s a recognition that it wouldn’t matter whatever is created. It doesn’t matter whatever gets created or not created; it has no impact on the Knowingness.

A: Yes, exactly.

Q:So, somehow there was just a feeling that maybe I’m going on creating because I want to look for something out there. And maybe the answer is not looking.

A: Whatever you want to taste as Consciousness right now IS what You’re creating.

Q: [Silence]

A:So, even if you want to have a taste of confusion, then you’re creating this taste of confusion right now. [Silence] But actually the more important point is what she said then, which is that for this Awareness, for this Knowingness, it doesn’t really matter what is appearing or not. And only from that perspective, only from this realization, can we truly say that ‘It doesn’t matter what appears in my life. I’m open’.

So, surrender and gyan have this merging here. Because to see that ‘Everything is allowed. It is only my Master’s Grace’. It’s the same allowing which happens when we come to the Knowing of this, that anything is allowed to appear but it doesn’t touch Me. It gives the same openness, whether we follow a devotional path to it or the path of recognizing ourSelf in this way. The same openness comes; the same acceptance comes.

Nothing Outside of Presence is Ever Experienced

A:‘This Being, or ‘I Am’ is the creator of this phenomenal realm’…, what could this really mean in my real experience, without any concept? What do I See? Is it not the case that when ‘I Am’ is, then this realm is. When ‘I Am’ is not, then this realm is not. [As in deep sleep] Can you validate this with your direct experience?

Q: Yes, it is.

A:This ‘I Am’ Itself is the light of this Consciousness in which this realm is created; on Its own screen. Is there anything outside of Your Presence? When we were checking yesterday, we saw that everything appearing is also in Me. What ‘Me’ are we talking about now? Not the ego ‘me’. We’re talking about this sense of Being-Me. Is there anything outside Your sense of Being?

Q: No.

A:So, that is what Bhagavan [Ramana Maharshi] means when he says ‘It is in the light of Itself and also on the screen of Itself’. When this light comes on, this realm comes on. Where is it seen? On Itself. Nothing outside of Presence is ever experienced. That is why it is the light of

Consciousness on the screen of Consciousness. Now, this is your direct experience, isn’t it?

Q: [Nods yes]

A: So then, if it is the light and the screen, then It must be the Creator of this movie. No?

Q:[Silence] This is clear, Father. Only it comes very strongly ‘It’s good to know what I am not, but let’s experience what I Am instead’. Because mind just picks that up and starts visualizing.

A:What I’m not is this idea I’ve had about myself for so long. This person I am not. That snake is not there in the rope. That I am not. Then we are talking about what you Are. Then you find that, in your phenomenal aspect, in your dynamic aspect you are tis Consciousness that is the light and the screen of all this worldly appearance. Ultimately, even this I am not. I am That which is Witness even of this. Then, from this perspective, we can say ‘Nothing has ever really happened’. Even the birth of Consciousness, and the dissolution, from the perspective of Awareness has never really happened. Ultimately, I am not any of this’ including Consciousness. But what is there to say then after that? We start from the ‘not’ from the outside; I am not this.

Then we come to the point where somebody like Nisargadatta Maharaj can say ‘Even ‘I Am- ness’ is an infection. I am not that’. ‘Even ‘I Am-ness’ Itself I am not’. For someone like that who is so established in his truest Self, in Awareness, not distracted by this worldly phenomena at all, they can come to a point where they say ‘Even this ‘I Am’ is an infection for me. Clear?

Q: [Nods yes]

If You See What You Really Are, You Are Free

Ashtavakra Gita [1.11]

It is true what they say: You are what you think.

If you think you are bound you are bound. If you think you are free you are free.

~ ~ ~

‘It is true what they say: ‘You are what you think’. (I’m reading this after 20 years. We’re all in trouble now.) [Chuckles] (This is becoming another type of satsang.) ‘If you think you are bound, you are bound. If you think you are free, you are free.’ (So, I’m going to mess around in a big way with this verse.)

If you See what You really Are, You will See that You are free.

If you check into the reality of what is Right Now, with your direct looking, with your direct Seeing, you will find only freedom is here.

If you start to think about it; even about freedom, that itself is bondage.

So, I’m not sure whether this is a translation error, or whatever it is. I don’t mind even arguing with Ashtavakra. [Chuckles]

I said: If you were to check on what is real right now, what is true right now, you will find only freedom, you will find Being, which is unlimited, and you will find this Awareness which cannot be bound. Therefore, you will not find bondage. You will find only freedom. But the instant you start to think about it, even to think about freedom, that itself is bondage. Because what do we think about freedom? ‘I have to get to freedom’. Even the idea that ‘I am free’ implies that I could be something that is bound.

So, the road to bondage is just to think about it.

(Let’s go to the original Sanskrit on this and see what it says about it; or maybe it’s like verse 2 which seems to have been inserted later on.)

Beingness Has No Boundaries

Ashtavakra Gita [1.12-1.13]

You are Self, the Solitary Witness. You are perfect, all-pervading, One. You are free, desireless, forever still. The universe is but a seeming in You.

~ ~ ~

Verse 12. ‘You are Self, the Solitary Witness’. (Now we’re talking!) ‘You are perfect, all- pervading, One. You are free, desireless, forever still. The universe is but a seeming in You’.

‘You are Self- the Solitary Witness’. (We saw this in the morning.) ‘You are perfect, all- pervading…’ We just saw that it is the same Awareness which is just playing as Consciousness, therefore it is the same One Awareness which is all-pervasive.

‘You are perfect, all-pervading, One. You are free, desireless, forever still.’ We saw that this Awareness is not changing, is not moving, is not in any way participating in a tangible way in this play. Therefore it is always free and without desire. Even the concept of desire doesn’t apply at all to Awareness.

The last line is very beautiful. ‘The universe is but a seeming (the universe is but a seeming) in You’. Just like we were saying, the finger is just a seeming within the hand. It is not separate from the hand ever. So, all of this (as Guruji [Mooji] also says) is one big seeming. It seems like all these separate ones are appearing. There are Beings, all of this play of this world is appearing and disappearing, but it is all one big seeming.

So, when we see that everything is contained within My Being; That is why I ask you these questions. What are the boundaries of Your Being?

Okay, let me take up this topic because this might be alive for some of you. Many times, when we have the experience of Being, it can quickly seem like it is contained within the body that is here. Many also say ‘The Being within this body’. But when we actually check, what happens? We find that that which we define as the body, our experience of the body, is just a set of sensations. And if you were to focus right now on the body and the boundaries of the body, you will find that a set of sensations seem to define the extent of the body. And then when we check ‘Where are these sensations experienced?’ we find that even these sensations are experienced within My Being. And My Being is not bound by them. This Beingness, this ‘I Am-ness’ is in no way bound by these boundary sensations of the body. Then we come to see things in the right light. We see that it is the cloud which is within the sky, and not the sky inside the cloud; just like the cloud of the body is an appearance within this Being. Just like all other appearances, but it is not Being which is contained within this body.

So, then when Bhagavan Shri Ramana Maharshi said ‘The Heart’…, what did he mean? ‘The Heart’. It’s important to see that for most of us, the sense of Beingness seems strongly correlated

with the area of the physical heart. But when he was talking about ‘The Heart’ he was not speaking about the physical heart. He was talking about that sense where the sense of Being seems to emerge from. That seems to correlate with our sensation of the physical heart. So when he talked about Heart, he was referring to Heart in this way.

So, this ‘I Am-ness’ for many can have this seeming point of center; this seeming sense of origin or the core being this Heart. And for many it can seem like there is no center; it is just Being. In fact, to correlate it to the body seems absurd to them. Both are valid perspectives based on what is the direct experience which the Being is having.

~ ~ ~

[1.13] Meditate on this: ‘I am Awareness alone, Unity itself.’

Give up the idea that you are separate, a person, that there is within and without.

~ ~ ~

‘Meditate on this…, (Okay, instructions coming. Pay attention.) [Laughs]

The sage says ‘Meditate on this: ‘I am Awareness alone, Unity itself.’ Give up the idea that you are separate, a person, that there is within and without’.

So, ‘Give up the idea that you are separate, a person, and that there is a within or without’. That is what we are giving up; this sense of within and without, and the sense of separation of there being a person. And then, automatically, this sense would be very clear that I am this Awareness alone, which is One.

Being Within the Inner Silence

Q: How to stop thoughts?

A:Earlier I said ‘You are standing on the side of the road. And you are saying that ‘There is too much traffic; how to stop the traffic?’ I say ‘You don’t have to cross the road at all. Then will you be bothered by how much traffic is there? No. Then why stop? Let the traffic roll down the road.

Q: When I came to a silent retreat, I thought silent retreat means that thoughts should stop.

A:No. Silent retreat only means that we start with dropping this concern about what to say, how to behave, no being nice, everyone smiling. So now we’re making no eye contact; nothing. We’re dropping all the seeming-outward concern so that our focus can just be on what is being shared. ‘Who am I? What is my reality?’ All this energetic wastage that can happen in day-to- day life of trying to be a certain way, keeping a self-image, trying to be a nice person, communicate well with people; all that is being dropped. So that is already giving you a lot of reserves to be able to contemplate and see these things because your energy is not being wasted on this outward.

The other point about being in silence is that as you start to experience your own silence, and you’re in a silent environment, you may find that our sensitivity to thoughts and other things like that might actually increase. Usually we’re distracted with our own words and the words of others. So now, when all of that is quieting down, that which your mind is saying or the sensations or pain that you’re feeling in the body might seem to get amplified for a bit also. So, to repress things now seems more and more difficult. That is why in a silent intensive you find a lot more shouting, screaming, releasing happening because it’s just difficult to push these things down now. If they’re coming up and we cannot distract ourselves with television and we cannot distract ourselves with doing things with our families, then when this is starting to bubble up and we can’t really push it down, it is coming out with great force. So, this energetic release also happens when we all keep our outward silence.

Then, ultimately, what happens? This is the most important thing. Why is it that even upon this discovery ‘I am this Awareness’ that we keep rushing to the mind? It is because it feels too silent; it feels too empty. The reality of what we are (because we’re used to this mental addiction) when we come to the quietness, it just feels too open, empty and silent. And we want to fill up the silence with some thoughts, with some concepts.

So, our outward silence is getting us used to being in this inward silence; being with ourself without having to rush to any external distraction. But you don’t have to force your thoughts to stop. You don’t have to push them away. Just allow them to come and go.

Who Is Aware?

Q:I was just going to say that it’s like the Beingness can never become that Silence (the Awareness Silence) but it can become Its devotee or something.

A:Okay, let’s look at this. So, the Beingness also is made up of Awareness itself, like we have been saying. Isn’t it? Therefore, every night when It goes to sleep, It becomes the Awareness Itself; or It drops the Beingness and only Awareness remains. Whatever terminology you want to use; whether you want to say ‘It returns to the Source’ or whether you want to say ‘It dissolves’ basically what happens is that It is no longer playing in Its dynamic aspect. Therefore, this Being never ceases to be Awareness. It is just playing like the difference between water and ice. And this recognition is happening for who? Being Itself.

Q:That’s what I mean. It’s almost like that question now. ‘Who is aware? Who is aware? Who is it?’ He’s going around and around; it’s repeating itself. It’s become a kind of fascination.

A: It’s good; not a bad fascination to have. [Chuckles] Any insight when you ask?

Q:Well, it’s so super-clear that I’m aware of perception. So, for me it’s easier to look at it from that perspective. So, I can see that in perception or experiencing, the experiencer and the experiencing and the thing (or things) which are experienced; it’s all one. There’s not three things. So, that’s why it’s impossible to find the experiencer. It’s like there’s all this experience while the experiencer is in the experience at the same time. And then, to be able to say that ‘I’m aware of it’…

A: Is easy.

Q:Yeah. And then when the question comes ‘So who is aware of Awareness?’ if I even try to think about it or even try to look in the way I’m used to looking, it all goes into meltdown and the mind comes in and it’s just a nightmare.

A: [Chuckles]

Q:But something is telling me now that it’s a lot simpler than that. It’s so much more simple than that. In order to say ‘I am aware’ who else could it be?

A:Exactly. Exactly. It is ‘I’ who is aware. When we say ‘Who is aware of Awareness?’ it is already clear that it is ‘I’. So, what this question is stopping is any kind of mental adventurism; that there’s a distinct ‘I’ and there’s a distinct Awareness [such as] ‘I had the experience of Awareness but my life is still like this’. You see? It is to stop that kind of mental adventurism. The instant you say ‘I am aware’ the ‘I’ and the ‘Aware’ are already One.

This is not word-play. I hope nobody is confusing this to be word-play. The minute we say ‘I am aware’ means what? There is a Knowingness of Knowingness; there is an Awareness of Awareness. Otherwise we would not even be able to use the word ‘aware’. Nobody taught us to be aware (as I was saying yesterday). It is just innate to us. And it is I that is aware. Who is aware of Awareness? I.

You know why this question is relevant? Only because many times when we come to a recognition of Awareness, of the Self even as Awareness, the mind comes and says ‘Yes, yes, you had a wonderful experience of Awareness’ and the egoic sense comes back, the mind comes back and says ‘This is how you must always be’. ‘I had it, then I lost it’. I can play these kind of games. But to see that it is One: ‘I-Awareness’ is the end of that game.

Q:So, there’s some kind of belief that’s happening, which is that obviously to recognize the Presence of Being is one thing, and then Guruji [Mooji] says ‘The rare one goes beyond that’. And so I feel almost like ‘Don’t try to run before you can walk’ sort of thing. Something is saying that. Some belief is there which is saying ‘No, you have to be fully saturated in Presence before you can make that leap because the Awareness is way, way, way beyond the mind. It’s left the mind behind long ago’. So when there’s a habit there (like there is with me) to pick things up and try and understand them or to analyze them, it’s very easy for that to happen.

So, the question ‘Are you aware?’ ‘Yes’. And then the question ‘Who is aware of Awareness?’ that one itself was becoming more inviting for the mind than ‘Are you aware?’ because that one doesn’t involve anything. And you can’t really think about it, to be honest.

A: Okay, so two things I want to tell you. First is: How do you know you’re not that rare one?

Q: [Long silence]

A:So, that is the first one. Second is: When the discovery is ‘I Am that I Am’…, the discovery of …I… Am…, is this Beingness, it is so satisfying, so beautiful. And yet, for some, it will automatically happen that this question, this urge will arise to look at ‘Who is aware even of this?’ So, it is not something that must be forced, or is forced. Like here, it was this urge to look and see ‘Who is aware even of this sense of Being? What is this Awareness?’ Only then will this question take a hold of you; when the urge is for this. Because when we come to the discovery of Being, it is the end of suffering, it is the end of this strife. It’s beautiful. This world becomes like a happy dream. So, from that perspective it can be said that there are some for whom even this question will arise (even upon the discovery of God) that ‘Who is aware even of Consciousness?

Q:I think what I meant is something like ‘If I can see it’s just a belief’…, because that question over and over, the recognition over and over, is what uproots the mind, isn’t it? Whereas maybe I was believing that ‘To somehow recognize that you should never again go back into belief’ for example. So, here I can see now that there is nowhere for the mind to go. There is so much

attempt to distract or pull at something, but I’m not suffering that anymore. I can see that it doesn’t really bother me. And even though some stuff is getting released still; that’s bothering me less now; because of that question.

A: Yes.

Q: I just feel like something wants to hang onto that question.

A:This ‘I’ is which one? The minute he said ‘I’ he knew he was going to get it, so he changed it to ‘something’…, but it was too late. [Chuckles] It’s the same ‘doer-I’. It’s the doer which says ‘Okay, this is what seems best to me now, this is what I’m going to do. I’m just going to stay with this now. This question is helping? Or not helping?’ It’s so sneaky. It finds some route to enter. We’re talking about the most primal things, talking about the creation of the universe, and this little mosquito comes with ‘I will do it’. We’re here discovering the creation and dissolution of the universe and the mind comes and says ‘I have understood now. I’m going to do this’. It sneaks in very subtly.

You cannot have a strategy. This very moment it is appearing; the next moment you don’t know what will be appearing. That is the best allowing.

Q: So, while there still is this ‘I’ which can obviously sneak in…

A:No. It’s gone now. The question brought it back to life. With the answer, it was gone. Now, the question brought it back to life, saying ‘It’s still there’. No. It’s gone.

Q:It’s true that there’s just this reluctance to just be silent; just to Be That and Know That. And not to say ‘Okay, but what should I…, should I stay with this question? Should I do that?’

A:Exactly. [Both chuckle] But I don’t mind your silence. Even if you come up on the hot seat and you’re completely ineloquent and all you are speaking is pure Consciousness, I don’t mind any of that.

[Silence] This is openness…, to have no plan, no strategy, even for freedom. Just simple allowing. Thoughts, coming and going. Emotions ‘Stay as long as you like’. Nothing lasts forever so even they come and go. This body itself…, who knows whether we will be having this body tomorrow when we wake up? Nobody knows. Everything coming and going. We enjoy these comings and goings. That’s it.

Let the False One Die While You Are Alive

Q:It’s like if someone asks you a question and you say ‘Yes’ on the outside but inside you’re kind of like ‘No, no, I don’t want to do that’. But you’ve said yes. It’s like that.

A:It’s like an energetic resistance. A doubt is like when I say ‘The world is round’. You have a doubt that this is true and you say ‘I read just now somewhere that the latest research says it’s actually not round; it’s egg-shaped.

Q:It could even be without thought. It could even be…

A:Then I would not call it doubt. Doubt is conceptual. What you are then talking about is that there is just this energetic sense of resistance to allowing yourself to fall into This.

Q: Yeah, yeah.

A: How about if I call it fear instead of doubt? This fear is very primal, you see?

All of you are getting what I am saying? It is fear or not? There is some fear to fall into this.

Q: Yeah. That’s what I was feeling yesterday. It just comes down to that; everything.

A:And it is because of this primal fear that [Nisargadatta] Maharaj says that ‘Everyone has to go through their death to find their freedom’. And Guruji [Moojiji] has said that ‘You have to die while you’re alive’.

We don’t talk strongly like this often, because I like to keep it light for all of you but: Do you have the commitment to die for this?

Q:Yeah, Father, because it happens anyway, whether I try to avoid it or not. It happens like this anyway, like I have to get back to the hospital and blah, blah, blah. There isn’t really a choice anymore.

A:So, right now, in the allowing yourself to remain empty. All of us; allow yourself to remain empty) let the thoughts just come and go and let everything just come and go, even if great resistance comes. Even if it feels like you want to hold onto the floor, don’t. Allow yourself to fall. Allow yourself to die if you have to.

[Silence]

Q: It’s not here right now. It doesn’t seem to come when I’m talking.

A:Then use the opportunity. Use this opportunity to remain open. If the fear is not so strong in satsang, then remain open. Then when it comes outside of satsang also, then you’ll be more used to this emptiness.

This is the main point. [Silence] The point behind all the pointings is this; to bring you to this point of death. And if there is fear, to allow that to come and go. Whatever the thoughts might be saying, allowing that to come and go. And staying with this emptiness.

You’ll find that this urge to go with these thoughts will jump around; that this fear and this urge is actually the same thing. But allow it to just bounce about. You continue in your allowing; not resisting, come what may.

And if it feels easy and light right now, very good, because you carry it about like that. This is how a sage is living; lightness of Being, a simple allowing of all things to come and go.

Q: It feels light but there’s also the fear there as well.

A:Yeah. Let the fear vibrate. Don’t even check too much. Just allow everything to happen.

Allow all thoughts also to come and go. Allow your attention to move about naturally wherever it wants. No control over anything. Let go of all sense of control.

[Long Silence]

A:Anything that happens, allow it to happen; inside, outside. If this room catches fire, you don’t leave [this openness]. If the body has to fall, let it fall.

[Long Silence]

A: Say now?

Q:It’s just so small, actually, the stuff you try to make out as huge.

A:Yes, exactly. [Silence] Nothing. It’s not even small; just nothing.

This Moment is Your Best Friend

A:That which you are looking for is already here Now. So, if you don´t go into stories of past and projections of future, what do you find right now?

The Self that we are trying to realize must be the Self here Now. If This is not the Self there is no Self; forget about it. If that which is here Now is not the Self then there is no Self. (And not ‘no- Self’ in the way that Buddhists say ‘no-Self’. That is a different terminology.)

What is here Right Now before you can go to some sensation, some emotion, some thought? What is here before that? You will not find it that way. [Pointing away from himself] You will not find it in the going, with anything. ‘I feel this, I think this’. You will not find it that way; in your feelings, in your thinking.

What is before that? And once you become comfortable to stay with what is before that, then it will stop mattering so much which feelings are coming, which thoughts are coming. All these concepts won´t be so important now. And it is a habit, I know this; because we are used to (in this worldly life) getting things by going after them outwardly. You want a degree, then you study, study, study, take an exam, get a degree. Anything you want to achieve. You want relationship, you put profile on marriage site or dating site and then see the responses and work with that.

This is completely different. We are not going to get it that way. We are going to get it this way. [Pointing towards himself]

What is prior to even the decision of what to do or not to do? What is prior to that?

What is at the background of all of this appearance? What is at the root of all of this appearance?

Is it not you?

Are you not here?

We are looking for our Self. We are looking for our Self. [Chuckles]

Someone said a very beautiful example. [Adyashanti] He said ‘Which mountain do the shoes have to walk around to find the shoes?’ What are you looking for? Your Self. Where will you find it? Outside? By doing something, you´ll find your Self? [Chuckles] What must You be first, before anything else? What must You be?

What is the point of telling you all of this? The point is that there is a Self which is playing as Consciousness which is then playing as the person; and the game that we are playing now is the person trying to become the Self.

This will never happen. […that the person becomes the Self]. The fallacy will never become the reality. The fallacy only has to be dropped, you see? What are you before you pick up the fallacy? Are you not aware of your existence? That which is aware IS the Self. What does it mean for the person? Nothing. Can it help the person in any way? Not really.

So, is our need for Self-discovery still driven by giving something to ‘the person’? ‘Once I find the Self, then I´ll have my infinite bowl of Amrit (nectar) and then I´ll be the happiest person on earth.’ Is that still the over-riding desire, to give something to the person?

And all the frustration with the spiritual journey, with the Master, with the teaching, with yourself, all of that comes because this one (that we have been catering for so long) is not getting it. Or even if it claims to be getting it, it is not getting the conformation from the Master that ‘I am getting it’. That is very frustrating; saying ‘But I get it, I get it’. [Master says]: ‘No, no, not you; still not you’. If there is a personal sense of getting, that you ‘got this’, that is also to be thrown away. ‘Now I am finding that I am Awareness. Now I’ve become Awareness. Now, I am operating only from Awareness’. All of this is also rubbish. You see? It is also rubbish because the ‘I’ is still participating in that (this little one). It is like the toenail saying that ‘Today I am going to walk this way to satsang or that way’. [Chuckles] The toenail doesn´t decide these things. ‘So, now I have decided to live only as Awareness’ is also part of the fallacy. And it´s very frustrating. ‘So, what to do now? You tell me! What to do? You said abide in Awareness. Now I am abiding. I am doing my best to abide’. [Chuckles]

You just have to smell a little more and see what this ‘I’ is smelling like. Is it still smelling personal? And your nose will tell you actually (not this physical nose). [Chuckles] But you know, in your heart. You might try to deny it all that you like with the mind but you know exactly what is going on in your heart actually. And when I refer to heart, I am referring to your intuitive heart (intuition); not your emotional heart. Our emotional center can be as wayward as the mind actually; even more sometimes. But that Presence which is your own existence is the supreme intelligence of this universe.

So, instead of trying to take charge of your spiritual journey; you drop it. Even now instead of trying to understand and execute what is being said, just come into this simple allowing. Just come into a simple allowing. Allowing means what? Allow all thoughts to just come and go. Allow your attention also to move naturally. Allow your body movements in the way they have to move. Whatever emotions are playing, sensations are playing, allow them. Allow the outside world to appear as it is appearing. Allow this body to react as it is reacting. Come into this simple allowing; this non-resistive (I don´t want to call it state). This non-resistance itself is your natural nature; Sahaj…, is most natural to you. Drop all effort.

And some fear might come. And I don´t want to belabor this point, because if I keep saying ‘Some fear might come, some fear might come’ then you’ll project that. But if some of you are experiencing it, then know that nothing will be harmed; it´s all auspicious. Don´t fear the fear. Even if it seems like the ground is shaking under you; allow it. In this simple naturalness you will find that all this effort to become a person (to pretend to become a person) will start to seem more and more alien to you; will start to seem more and more effortful to you. It will seem like a waste of time actually. Why would you want to?

And in this simple natural state of allowing, all insights will also emerge. Freshness will be there. And this movie will become much more enjoyable because we are not trying to predict every scene ‘What is the next scene going to be like? Tell me, tell me’. It is just fresh. We don´t know right now who is going to speak in the next few minutes and what they are going to say. Isn´t that so wonderful; this not knowing? If you just already knew what the whole day would be like and we are just going through the motions… [Makes a listless body movement]

So, when we don´t have fear about something happening to us then we can truly enjoy the movie. If you are trying to protect this ‘me’ (this non-existent one) and leading our life, catering to this one then we are fearful ‘What is the next moment going to bring? What is the agenda for the retreat? Are you going to be really harsh on me tomorrow?’ These kind of fears will come. When we no longer catering to this ‘me’ then what is there? And all I am asking is that we stop catering to that which we cannot find in the first place.

Someone was saying the other day also again (I’ve heard this many, many times over the last 3 years) that ‘If ego is also Consciousness, why are you always so harsh with the ego?’ But it is just make-believe, that´s why. I am trying to show you that it is just make-believe; there is no tangible ego. It is not even a situation where you say that, you know, ‘You forgive the sinner’. It is not even that situation like that you forgive the sinner (and of course the most beautiful way to deal with that is with compassion; in the world it is spoken like this) but it is not even that case. We cannot find this one. [Chuckles] That is what I am trying to show you; there is no cat. And if you keep believing that you are a Martian and then you come and say ‘But even this believe is Consciousness’ then what can I tell you? [‘Cat’ and ‘Martin’ refer to examples Anantaji has used in metaphors]

I am just showing you that you are not a Martian; you are not this person. Even the presumption that you are a person is a play of Consciousness; agreed. But if you were to wake up tomorrow and you woke up under a spell and all of you said that ‘I am from Mars. I want to go back to my house in Mars. I am missing it too much.’ what would be the most compassionate way to deal with you? Would it be to cater to your Martian-identity and say ‘Okay, let’s try to build a spaceship’? It would not be; no? [Chuckles] It would be to tell you ‘Look, look! You are not a Martian!’ and you say ‘Oh, why you are so harsh with the Martian?’ [Chuckles] And I am saying ‘Just look! It´s a lie that you are a Martian’. That is all that is happening here; nobody is being harsh with anyone. We are just looking at that which is false and saying it is false; that which is a lie and saying it is a lie. You see? Isn´t it?

If your children have an imaginary friend who started off fine but now it is just scary to the child, would you not tell the child ‘Hey, it’s imaginary. Don´t believe it. It is just you own projection and you have given it too much belief. So, now you leave it; whatever it is saying’. And then the ‘whatever-it-is-saying’ seems like it is too much for a child to get over it. That´s what used to happen.

I started off by saying ‘Don´t believe your thoughts’. Then everybody came back and saying ‘But it`s too much. There are too many thoughts’. So, then what to do with the imaginary friend? ‘Okay, don´t believe the next thing that it is saying’. At least that much we can do, isn´t it? So, don´t believe your next thought. Then this false imaginary friend (which is claiming to be you yourself) cannot be nourished. The identity cannot grow like that.

So, all that is happening here is this; to see. I say ‘Look, look! You are not that one!’ That is the recognition. I have given you the tools to look. How to look also we have shown you. Isn´t it? So, the first part is ‘Look! Who are you really?’ So, as you look, then (as it is belief in the false) it starts to fall. Once you see you are not a Martian, then the Martian-belief starts to disintegrate. You see? But because so much has been believed in the past, that is why it is important also to drop any future nourishment to this Martian-conditioning. Otherwise the spiritual journey will keep going on and on.

I can give you a practice. ‘Every day you do 10 minutes and you’ll come to the recognition of who you are’. The rest of the day you are again filling yourself up with egoic conditioning. So, how does it end? Never. Because you get rid of whatever has been filled up the previous day with your 10 minutes of practice then the rest of the day you go about as if you are the ego. So, if I wanted hundreds of thousands of followers I would just do that; make you taste the honey every day. [Saying] ‘Drop it’…, and give you some sense of peace from that previous day’s conditioning. And then I know the rest of the day you will go about your thing, you will built up more drama in your life and you will come next day again with a bucket full of conditioning. Then ‘Do the practice’…, you throw it away. You see? It´s a fail-safe model.

And I am not saying that there is anything fundamentally wrong with it but I’m saying that the urge here is not for that. The urge here is to show you who you are and also show you don´t need to pick up any of the false stuff. And whatever little bit you do pick up, just a simple inquiry ‘Who is it? Who is here really?’ Then drop that. You see? So, both the recognition ‘I am not the Martian’ and the dropping of the false Martian conditioning is possible Right Now. And when it gets picked up, it can also be let go.

And you know what the best news is? The best news is that this moment is your best friend. In this moment all that was past is gone. All our ideas about ourselves; Right Now, gone. If I say ‘Tell me your ideas about yourself’ you first have to think about it. They are not here; you have to go to that and pull it. So, you have to wait for some thought to come, pull at that, and then the whole stream of that conditioning seems to be available.

Can it be this simple…, that the recognition of who you are is possible Right Now; and also the conditioning is wiped off?

Actually Self-realization is the simplest thing; that is why it is impossible for the mind. It´s too simple. All that is needed is right now checked ‘What is here? Who am I?’ And don´t buy any story that the mind is selling you. If you don´t want to buy nobody can force you to buy. This is a lie we tell ourselves ‘Oh, I am just forced to believe’. Because That who has the power of belief is not some mere mortal; it is Consciousness. The person does not have the power to believe. But it has the power to believe that it does not have the power of dropping these beliefs. ‘They are too strong for me’…, it has the power to believe all of these things. It wants to play like that. But I cannot believe you when you say these things, because that which believes or does not believe is Consciousness Itself.

So, for those who have been with me for some time and they come to me still with some story, sometimes I just say ‘I don´t believe you’. [Chuckles] A sangha member once (we were in Rishikesh) would write to me on Facebook ‘There is a lots I have to share with you. So much is been happening here. I am picking up so much …’ So, then we walking on the Ganga and she shared something and I said ‘Actually you know what? I don´t believe any of this’. [She said]: ‘But Father it´s true’. Then I said ‘I know that you believe it to be true, but really none of this is really true’. Because even with our belief, can we harm what we really are? Can we actually become the ego? We cannot. We can only be This Being, and ultimately That which is Aware of even of This Being.

The Master Has the Master Plan

Can we drop all ideas about what must be done right now? [Silence]

Bhagavan Shri Ramana Maharshi said that ‘If you board a bus or you board a train’ then what do you do? Some people still carry their bags and they’re running towards their destination. So, if you’ve boarded the Master’s train, then keep the bags down; you sit down.

The Master has the master plan. You drop your plan. You cannot truly have a Master and have a plan. Choose one thing. And go with that then 100%. Even if it is your plan, go with that then. But you want to have a Master; you also want to have a plan. The plan is only catering to the false one.

Some in satsang are like that also, that ‘We’ll do a little bit of this, a little bit of that, a little bit of this, a little bit of that; and as a perfect combo-meal, we’ll get to our freedom at the end of it. I have no trouble with doing a little bit of this and that; that is fine. But don’t presume that ‘that’ is getting you to freedom, because freedom is before you decide to do any of that. It is already your natural state.

There Is No Freedom For the Person

I take these contemporary examples sometimes. Suppose you have this mailbox (Microsoft Exchange or whatever, Outlook). So, you have this Outlook as your email box and one day you start getting emails for somebody called Rajan (because Rajan was a very popular example once). You started getting emails for somebody called Rajan. You opened one and it caught you. You start feeling like ‘This email is for me’. Then every minute, one email is coming for Rajan, saying ‘This is the plan for tomorrow. This is what we must do’. Then, like in our life when we write our story, there are some events. So, one even that happened ‘I found the love of my life’. A major email. ‘This was quite an accomplishment, Mr. Rajan. Good job. Wish you a happy life forever’. And after a few weeks of these (or depending on the situation) it says ‘Okay, this is not the constant happiness I was looking for. So what to do now? All we need is a little bit more money’. The email comes like that; we follow. We try to get money. ‘Okay, money is there but something is still missing. Maybe we should have some children’. Then children. Anything, all these things; house. It keeps going like that.

Then once day, one major email comes ‘Important. Very, very, very important’. It says ‘All of this is a sham. All of this is a sham, trying to look for personal happiness. Mr. Rajan, what you must find now is freedom. Once you find this liberation, then Mr. Rajan, you will be absolutely happy all the time. Anandi Ananda’. Then of course, it’s very attractive; we got this email. How do we find this freedom? It says ‘You go from place to place. You try this, this seemed to work for this one’. You try this, you go here, you go here, you do this. And then many places you go, you’ll be told ‘Okay, do this for 90 days. Do this for one year’. Then you do this and you come to the next level. Then you’ll grow. And as you’re growing in your spiritual stature, you feel like you got a lot. (I’m sharing my own story actually). [Chuckles] So, you feel like you’ve got a lot, you’ve understood so much. And then people come to you who are still at level one, and you start to parrot your Master’s words and you say ‘This is what; don’t be a footballer for other’s opinions. Expectations only reduce joy’. (I’ve said these words with full conviction.)

And then what starts to happen? Life being life then starts to pull out the ground from under you. Your business starts to have problems, you’re having fights in your marriage; all of this. And you’re trying to say ‘Okay, do the practice more. Do the practice more’. Yes, momentarily relief comes. But 10 minutes later, again something, something. Then we say ‘It’s only my expectations which are reducing my joy’. What to do? It’s not helping. So, when life slaps you around like this, then all of this (mostly) gets washed away and something says ‘Okay, I’m still not finding freedom for the person here. So let me now go to this. Let me go here’. And we go from place to place to place, trying to find some freedom for this person. These teachings, these concepts, some practice, something. And we feel like…, because it is the taste of honey that is undeniable; all these ancient practices will give you the taste of honey. It is undeniable. And you enjoy the honey and you say ‘This is what I have to do! I have to stretch this out so it becomes my constant experience. That’s what I have to do’. So, then it becomes ‘chasing the dragon’. (The drug addict has this term called ‘chasing the dragon’.) The first time you inhale a drug, you

get a kick; and supposedly, you don’t ever get that kind of kick again but you’re still chasing that. You keep chasing by doing more and more and more. So you want to do more and more practice, more and more programs, more and more programs; level 1, level 2, level 3, level… You keep going through all the levels, saying ‘One day I will come to that constant state’.

Then, you find, as life is shaking you about, you find that ‘No concept, no practice is really giving me that. What do I do? There is fundamentally something wrong’. I came to this conclusion. Because I found that I could parrot the best knowledge, I could speak it, but when my business started becoming shaky and I was having trouble in relationship then great suffering was coming. And something was trying to deny this suffering using mental concepts. And that was giving even more suffering. Outwardly I was projecting this very nice smile, but inwardly something was just churning.

Then it became clear to me that ‘I don’t know anything! What I know is not worth anything, not worth a peanut!!’ because not one moment of suffering it was helping with. Not one moment. It was only making it worse, because the fight then was ‘But you should be beyond this by now’. Reciting all the time: ‘But I should be beyond this by now’.

And then, Grace being so beautiful, it brings you to something which starts to unravel through these beautiful scriptural books; like ‘I Am That’ and ‘Be As You Are’ came into my life. (I don’t know how it became about me suddenly.) [Chuckles] And then I started to realize that ‘I really know nothing’. I started to see that this slate got wiped clean once more…, wiped clean from all of this.

Then we found that [he means ‘I found’] what was really the urge was not to give freedom TO the person, it was the person itself which was the thorn. The belief in the identity itself was the thorn. And no matter what I tried to practice, no matter how many things I was learning spiritually; because they were taken from a personal perspective, it was leading only to continuation of the suffering, not to the end of it.

That is why when we share all these examples, it is freedom not FOR the ‘cat’ but FROM the ‘cat’. [Referring to an example he uses of the cat always wanting the next bowl of cream; and that we’d been told we are a cat. Then one day we are shown/ we realize we’re not a cat at all.] It’s from living experience. Because we’ve tried so many things to make this one free, but that has to be dropped. If our foundation itself is based on a lie, then whatever beautiful bricks we put on top of that is not going to help.

That’s why I’ve often said that I don’t have a problem with practice but with the idea of there being a practitioner. So, when we look like that, we see that if our foundation becomes clean from that which is false, then as part of the joy of this living experience, all is allowed to come and go. If someone enjoys mindfulness (like the Buddhist way of mindfulness) we can sit and bring our attention to our breath and do this. If someone enjoys yoga, hatha yoga or pranayama; nothing wrong with it. The only thing that seems to lead to further delusion is the idea of being a

practitioner; the idea of being an individual entity. The idea of separation, if it is getting amplified because of anything that we are doing, then best to keep that aside; at least for some time and to see: What are you really at the foundation? Before the thought…, before the most popular thought ‘I am a person’…, what are you? Before we believed the idea of ourselves; what are you before the idea was born? And for that checking, we don’t have to wait for an auspicious moment. This checking is possible to do any time.

Before the idea comes, NOW, right NOW: Who are you?

Are we able to just look? It’s not rocket science. Don’t expect any explosions, any experience. Just it’s a simple looking: Who am I, right now?

[Silence]

This is what You Are.

Just a Simple Looking (Without Conclusion)

Who are you before you have the urge to go to the conclusion of who you are?

Because our habit, our way of knowledge, has been worldly knowledge. So, what happens is that we study something and we come to a conclusion about it and then we feel like ‘I know something’. This is different from that.

With this, only the living experience is possible because we cannot draw a conclusion out of it. And I know the mind must be rushing to make conclusions. And the conclusion takes you away from the fresh looking.

So, don’t make any conclusion about what you’re Seeing, what you’re finding.

I’ve given you the tools. When I ask you ‘Can you stop being now?’ Pretend that you’re hearing this question for the first time, and check. Try to stop being. [Silence]

Don’t say ‘No, no, I’ve tried. I can’t stop’. Don’t say that. [Chuckles]

Now. Try to stop being now. Don’t be. For a moment, for an instant.

You will find more joy in this than in a mental conclusion of knowing the right answer.

Because what does the mind come and say? ‘Yes, yes, you know that you are Being but where are the ‘children’ of Being?’ But it is that mental conclusion also that has to be thrown away.

Can you stop being?

And as these words come, here there is also an attempt to see: Can I stop being?

[Silence]

Can you stop being?

Who is Aware of Your Existence?

A: So, is there a distinction between the two questions:

Can you stop Being now? and

Are you Aware now?

Or do they taste the same to you? Everyone can check this. Is there a qualitative distinction? (Don’t get too Advaita on me too quick.) [Laughter] Is there a qualitative distinction between the two questions?

Can you stop Being now? and

Are you Aware now?

Q:There does seem to be a qualitative [difference] but it’s more in the way I am looking. If you say ‘Can you stop Being?’ I am looking for this ongoing thing that thinks itself to be a kind of an entity or something, like a Being. So, I am looking for a Being.

A: What do you find when you look for Being?

Q: I can find one but more basic is ‘Are you Aware now?’ because the Awareness…

A:Okay slowly. We have time. So, you say very rightly that when I am looking at ‘Can I stop Being’ it can feel like I am looking for Being. And when we look, what do we find?

Q:In me (and I didn’t notice) there is a presumption that because (and I’m just noticing it now) I’m looking for a Being, I’ve got to find a Being. And so I look from that kind of perspective and then…, it’s kind of like I construct Being…, ‘Oh, yeah, there is one’. Also, I look for it.

A:So, all this mental stuff, let’s keep it aside for a minute. Don’t interpret the question in anyway; don’t add a word to it, don’t add any syllable to it.

Can you stop Being now? [Long silence]

Q: I can’t stop it.

A: Yes, so this ‘it’ which you cannot stop, what is that?

Q:Experiences are being registered and that thing that is registering them can’t stop registering them.

A:Very good. Okay, so it seems to be the witness of all phenomenal things and it is registering all of this. Now who is Aware even of it?

Q: Itself is Aware of Itself registering things (is what appears to be).

A:Are you imagining this? Are you visualizing this? And even if you are, it is okay. Who is aware of the visual?

Q:That’s getting really difficult. [Laughter]

A:How did you come to know that it is getting difficult? How did you get to know this, that it’s getting difficult?

Q: On one level I am feeling lost on trying to find this ‘one’.

A:Okay, first let’s starts with this one that is feeling lost. Let’s start with finding that one. Where is that one? Because you say quiet conclusively that ‘I am feeling lost’. So which ‘I’ is this one that is feeling lost?

Just relax a little more into it. It looks like you are working really hard. Just gently.

Are there two of you? The one that is getting lost…, and the one that is looking at the one getting lost?

Q: There are; because the one that is getting lost is the mind trying to respond to the question.

A:Yes, so it’s very good. If it’s getting completely confused, we can leave it aside. We don’t have to be eloquent or coherent even. In fact, ineloquence, incoherence is very welcome. So, let the mind say whatever it wants to, let it resist.

The question is ‘Who is Aware even of this mind? Who is Aware of your existence?

Q: It doesn’t really feel like a ‘who’. It just feels like ‘Awareness’.

A:Awareness. And where are you? (And again, don’t go with the right answer; just go with your looking.)

Q:The Awareness doesn’t feel like the ‘I’ that I am used to experiencing. It’s like obviously the more fundamental ‘I’ that the smaller ‘I’ is not used to experiencing.

A:Let’s see if I can help you even with that. So you say that ‘There is just Awareness even of existence’. Who knows this? Do you know this? Or no?

Q: It just feels more truthful to say that ‘Awareness knows it’.

A:Yes. How is Awareness telling you this? So, Awareness knows it. What does that have to do with you?

Q:It’s because it is being perceived, that Awareness has to be me. [Laughter] It doesn’t feel like all the nonsense that is ‘me’, so it’s a very different feeling.

A:So, don’t bother with your feeling for some time also; neither feeling nor thought. Just with what we are directly seeing. You say that there seems to be an Awareness here which is Aware even of the sense of existence.

Now this Awareness, how is this known? How are you able to say these words?

Is it hearsay from Awareness? Or Awareness told you ‘This is what I am doing’? Or is it more direct than that?

Q: Well, I couldn’t experience Awareness unless it’s actually me. [Laughter]

A: What is the problem if you were Awareness?

Q:It’s not a problem. It’s just that I have conditioned nonsense around what it should feel like and what Freedom should feel like and it doesn’t feel like that. It’s fairly mundane or basic.

A:Yes, but even through all of the conditioning, is your discovery that now you are becoming Awareness and you were That earlier? Or is your discovery that you have always been That?

Q:It is that ‘I’ve always been That’ but it is still unfamiliar because I don’t spend much time there.

A: Who doesn’t spend much time there? Awareness steps out of there?

Q: No. [Laughter]

A:You see? So, we are trying to take identity along with us for this ride and that can start to become very confusing. So first you have to see ‘What you have been always in reality?’ And if you always have been This in reality, does the pretend ‘me’ have to spend time here or there? Or this is your fundamental reality that cannot change?

Can you step out of Awareness?

Even when you are playing as a person, have you stepped out of Awareness?

Q:No, no, we can’t really.

A:We can’t really.

Q: But you can play a very convincing game.

A:Yes, and that’s what makes it fun at one level. But even in the playing of the game, nothing fundamentally changes.

Q: Yes, you still Are.

A: Now what can the mind say about the reality of who you are?

Q:At best it can take all that and wrap it up into a concept and say ‘Here you go’. But it’s not an experience. Its just nonsense.

A:Yes. So then you are saying that ‘There is nothing the mind can say about the reality of who I am’.

Q: It’s not nothing. It can give some information.

A: At best it can try and point to it. Is that what you are saying?

Q: Yes, yes, at its best. It’s still not the experience.

A:And wouldn’t that imply that everything else that the mind says (except some pointers which could be ultimately helpful) is not about You fundamentally; it is about the make-believe you.?

Q: Yeah, for sure. Yes.

A:You see? Now knowing this to be true, would it be wise to drop whatever the mind is saying? Or to continue to believe what the mind is saying?

Q:[Laughter] Well, it would be very wise to drop it, but there is a strong conditioning going on there so…

A:Okay, so can we start with this one that says ‘But there is a strong conditioning’. There is no conditioning which is stronger than You.

Q:You know, sometimes I think so, because Reality wanted to play a very convincing game so it had to create fantastic conditioning to keep it for a long time. And It’s got a lot of strength to do all that if it wants.

A: Yes, yes. What is the game You want to play right now?

Q:Well, you see, it’s quite confusing because I don’t get to play any game. There is only one game. I think I am trying to get out of it, it is the ego trying to trying to rest in Reality more; to spend more time in Reality. It’s a spiritual-related journey somehow.

A: Can you find anyway for this non-existent one to rest in Reality?

Q: No, I mean, that’s stupid basically. [Laughter]

A: If it does not exist, obviously it cannot rest. Then how do we buy into these ideas?

Q:It’s mostly a trick of the mind to believe in myself. So, you know, it’s a habit. And trying to drop it is quite a challenge because there is a lot to it.

A:[Laughter] What does it mean when we say ‘I am trying to drop the mind’? What do we have to do to drop the mind?

Q:If we just sense what is true now that will help drop the mind. But of course the mind just goes ‘Blah, blah, blah’ and says ‘You’re not doing it right’.

A:So, the term itself ‘dropping’ maybe we should replace with something else; because to drop something would mean to first pick it up. You cannot drop that which is not been picked up. So my provocation, my suggestion to you is: Just refuse to pick it up instead.

Right now it is dropped. This moment is doing it for you. This mind is dropped. Now don’t pick it up. What does it mean ‘Don’t pick it up’? It means just allow it to come and go.

Is It ‘Game Over’ or Do You Still Want to Play as a Person?

What does it mean ‘Don’t pick it up’? Just allow it to come and go.

You probably heard the conveyor belt example from me earlier, but you’re in this fancy Japanese restaurant and there is a conveyor belt. It’s called ‘Yo Sushi’. So, you go over there and you have this conveyor belt. No waiter, nothing happens; you just sit at your table and this conveyor belt comes. Whatever you like, you pick up. And at the end, based on how many plates are on your table, you’ll get a bill.

Now, this is exactly the same way in which the mind works. One plate is coming to you at one time; one thought is coming at one time. It can seem like the mind is saying so much but it’s got just one ‘mouth’. Just like this; one thing at a time. Everything we pick up adds to our conditioning; our idea about ourself which is false.

Now, how to drop conditioning? We see that in every moment in this magical restaurant, your table starts empty. But if you pick up a plate, all that you’ve eaten before comes back to your table; all those plates come back. So, it’s cleaned up in this moment. If you pick up this, then it seems like all those plates that were there earlier seem to come back. So, all we can do to drop conditioning is not to pick up the next plate. Is that that tough?

Q: [Silence]

A:If you think about it… [Chuckles] Just allowing your next thought to come and go, is it that difficult?

Q:[Long silence] It probably isn’t. But how do I prolong resting in reality?

A:Yes, but we already said that which is reality is already resting in reality. And the false does not exist, therefore cannot rest in reality. So, you still want to go on that voyage of trying to make the non-existent one rest in reality?

Q: I think I’m just too used to thoughts; and some fear is here.

A:That is the spiritual journey. So, the end of the journey is not the achieving of the conclusion or coming to the destination, but the dropping of this idea that the false can ever rest in the true. Because the false does not exist in the first place.

So, many times for many of you it could seem scary that it’s ‘Game over’ right now. Because the idea then comes ‘Okay, then what do I do with my life? What happens to my next pilgrimage?’ These kind of ideas can come. But what I’m saying is that you took the journey inwardly. Outwardly, wherever your feet have to take you is okay.

Are you ready for ‘Game over’? [Chuckles] Because if you choose to play, nobody can stop you; and it’s fine. All of this is the play.

Q:It’s kind of funny because I like to think I’m ready for ‘Game over’ but I have reservations about the level of my conditioning and all this kind of stuff. I don’t want to be foolish about it.

A:So, we just said that ‘In this moment, all that is past is gone’. Even the past conditioning is vanished. But you can tug at it. You can pull at it; and everything is available to you again if you pull at it.

If you reach for a mental certificate, it is not going to give you one. If you reach for a certificate from the mind ‘Yes, this could actually be it’ and the mind saying ‘Yes, yes, this is it. Go for it man.’ it is not going to do that. [Chuckles] So, if you continue to go to the mind as an ally, it will always give you something which is a postpone-ment tactic.

Now, your deepest urge right now…, (because in the truth of who you are, you know what all of this is about) so if the deepest urge right now is to continue to play some more, that is fine. It’s completely fine. This whole realm is a creation for us to play. But at least we then have this integrity in our life that ‘Yes, the truth is very clear to me; the false I have seen and it does not exist. And yet there’s still this sense that I want to play a bit more with this realm, enjoy this taste of being me’ then that is completely granted to you. Nothing wrong with that. But then at least we are not speaking in two tongues; we’re not saying on one hand ‘I want to be free now, I want to be free now’ and on the other hand saying ‘It’s okay. I think I will wait a bit’. You see? Because if someone says ‘I’ll wait a bit’ I never have a problem with that.

So, the tool to be free Right Now is to see who you are in This Moment, and to refuse to pick up the next plate which comes on the conveyor belt. It’s just as simple as that.

Now, our giving belief is only an expression of our urge to play for a little longer (which is also fine). As long as this is clear to you, it is very helpful, in a way.

Freedom is To Be Found Now

Freedom is to be found NOW.

It is available NOW in the recognition of the Self which I’ve pointed you towards. It is un-miss-able.

This recognition is happening for you now.

And even the dropping of the conditioning must happen NOW. If you are eating an apple, you can only eat an apple by biting on the next bite. And the next bite is your belief in your next thought. Because a thought will come; it will say ‘But how do I lead my life now? What is going to happen to it?’ But life continues in its own natural way. (My in-laws are here so they might not agree that my life has continued in a natural way or not.) [Laughs] But at least the experience from here is that life continues to flow in its own natural way; without the sense of burden, without the sense of carrying out something specifically.

And this openness is surrender. We make the prayer of surrender but we don’t really accept that even the experiencer is God Himself. And as we open to whatever life has to bring, then we’re not so concerned with what the mind is saying, what should I do next; no longer so concerned with trying to control the flow of this life (with no tools).

So, surrender is not a ‘doing’. It is the realization that it is always this greater force which has been running our life. ‘And I always had some false pretense of having some individual control’. And now we are coming to the recognition that there is no individual in the first place. It is one ocean, one movement of Consciousness.

There is Nothing Arrogant About Awareness

One thing that is coming up to say is that many of you have this feeling that if you start dropping this personal identity and you start coming from your authentic place, then you start feeling like ‘But that’s too arrogant’.

But it’s not arrogance. I was asking the other day ‘What is arrogant about nothing?’ It’s nothing. What is arrogant about no-thing. To come from this place of emptiness is not arrogance.

It’s just another mind trick which is saying ‘But you can’t just pretend as if you are empty’ or something like this. You are not pretending. It is Your Truth.

So, don’t fall into that trap also. You’re seeing who You Are. You’re also seeing what gets you into trouble; your false belief. And you’re able to drop this false belief now.

Allow life to now flow spontaneously through; the same allowing that I was talking about earlier. Allow your actions, your reactions. Don’t try to be a certain way. Don’t try to behave enlightened. Just allow yourself to just be. And actions are happening on their own anyway. We have dropped the pretense of being the doer. And don’t buy any idea of being arrogant.

So, very quickly we go from ‘I’m so unworthy’ to ‘I’m so arrogant’. There’s nothing arrogant about Awareness. Even to say ‘I am Awareness’ is the most simple thing. It is not arrogance.

Why must we persist with lying, just because it feels it is less arrogant? Actually, it is the separation…, to reinforce the separation with every word that we speak; that is arrogance. That separation ever could have happened; that is arrogance. That I am separate from God; that is arrogance.

So, the mind has this also upside-down. To say ‘I am Consciousness’ to say ‘I am Awareness’ is not arrogance.

And the saying is not the important part, of course. But I would rather you say ‘I am Consciousness’ and go with this direct Seeing that You’re having than continue to play this false-ness, the seeker role, the Arjuna mind-set.

Discovering Your True Place

A:Okay, so let me see if I get this straight. You had a beautiful experience of non-separation in the morning, and along with that came some shaking of the body and now the mind is coming and saying ‘But why did you have to behave like that? It’s not appropriate’.

Q: Yes.

A:That’s not true. [Chuckles] The point of creating the environment of satsang is to give you the space to allow all this to happen.

Q:Exactly what happened. And actually, I wasn’t listening too much to exactly what you were saying, but there were glimpses and I just felt I was with you totally.

A:Yes. One glimpse is enough. If you listen to 2 or 3 lines really openly in satsang, it is more than enough. The rest of it is just the defrosting.

So, now what do you feel? Like something changed?

Q: No, now I feel I’m like this again. [Making hand into a tight fist and shaking]

A: What is your truest position?

Q: Right now? [Silence] I’m here. And a lot of energy is playing around in the body.

A:Yes. Okay, so what you have to do is tell me that which affects you in reality now. [Silence]

That which is playing, is playing. It’s like children playing in the park; it’s okay. If there something that really affects the reality of who you are, then report that.

Q:It’s nothing. [Chuckles]

A:[Chuckles] It’s nothing.

Q:It is just something that is happening now and it’s coming and going; and I know it’s going.

During the last two days, there have been a lot of these ups and downs.

A:Which thermometer are you using? Before you go, give me the thermometer that you are using to measure yourself. You know what I mean? This thermometer, this temperature-checker, is measuring and writing down the medical report of what has been happening. So, you give me that thermometer, the meter, which measures the temperature.

Q: So, I can’t measure?

A: Yes.

Q: I will. I will give you.

A:You will give me. Very good. Don’t leave with it. I know it’s a habit. But it’s a bad habit. Let’s drop it. If you were to ask me ‘Can you tell me what your state was in the last two days?’ you don’t know how difficult an assignment that sounds to me; to go back and say ‘Okay, the day before, what was the state?’ It just sounds like too much work! Why you have to do it?

Q: Right. It’s a lot of these, because so many things have happened. This…

A:This is also that.

Q:Pardon?

A: This [what you’re saying now] is also that.

Q: Yes, yes, and I try to remember ‘Why? Why can’t I come back to this state?’ So, …

A:This is the ‘checker guy’. I speak about the ‘checker guy’. So what happens is the seeker now manifests mostly as this checker guy, saying ‘Okay now, today how many thoughts did I believe?’ That is not the point of the pointing. It is not to make reports about yourself. Because you already started by saying that ‘The reality of what I am remains untouched now by any play that might be happening’. You started by saying that. See? And then when we go to reporting what has been happening in the play then we’re going toward reporting what is happening in the un-reality. So, if reality is untouched by anything that is happening in the play, then we must not bother too much about what is happening in the un-reality.

Q:Yes. Last night I couldn’t sleep almost at all [Sigh] because it was hot and I have a cold. And one thing is that I read a quote from someone (I don’t know who it was) saying ‘You are not in the now. You Are the Now.’ That struck me very deeply. And after that when I tried to go to sleep, I became afraid because it was so much a loneliness in this. So I almost got attacks of …, I don’t know what. I was very, very afraid.

A:This happened to the reality of who you are?

Q:No. Of course not.

A:[Laughs]

Q:Of course not. But it is something to look at now, and to see that was not real.

A: Yes. That’s the only purpose. Yes.

Q:Yes. And that made me…, when I went for coffee and tea in the restaurant, I was sitting for quite a long time and suddenly something became deeper and deeper. I went more into reality, to Awareness. Somehow I was taking off more and more layers. So, I saw that I am a collector actually, with quotes and copies of transcripts. And I experienced that I can’t go on with this because I have to go in with myself and see what is true Here. You can’t read it. And it became so true to me.

A:Yes. Very good. This is very important. If you are just reading and collecting knowledge, it’s not helpful. We can take one satsang, only one paragraph, something that appeals to us, and just use that to check within. That is more than enough.

Q:They are just pointings, all pointings.

A:Yes, all pointings.

Q:Like what you are saying is pointings, too. And it feels like an opening to see this.

A:Yes. Yes. It’s very important. Because we’re moving away from the conceptual knowing of things into the true Knowingness.

The ‘I Am (3 Choices) But…’ Game

Let’s play a little game. Now, there are only some possibilities, isn’t it?

One possibility is that ‘I have come to this recognition that I’m Awareness, but…’ The second is ‘I have come to this clear recognition ‘I am Consciousness, but…’ The third is ‘I have come to neither of those recognitions because… (something)’

So, I want the mic to go around to everyone, and each of you speak one or two lines. ‘I am Awareness, but…’ or ‘I am Consciousness, but…’ or ‘I don’t see either because…’ Got it?

And if there’s not ‘but…’ That’s It, then.

Sangha (1): There is clear seeing, father, that I am Awareness. There’s no doubt, no but.

A: No ‘but’. Okay, pass.

Sangha (2): I know I’m Awareness, but I see my favorite stories catching me; my favorite stories of personhood.

Sangha (3): I know I’m Awareness, but when I’m entering the dynamic world the person comes back; but it’s been Seen. If it feels like that, it doesn’t mean that it is like that.

A:So, I am Awareness, but some prior conditioning is still coming. So instead of saying ‘It’s coming’ just say ‘It’s going’. You see? It’s coming to go.

Sangha (3) continues: There are still buttons from here, parents and family. And there’s a fear, even with this direct experience, which still remain that THESE issues are going to again …

A:So, there’s an ‘and’ and a ‘but’. I am Awareness and conditioning is going, ‘but’ (the first one) some favorite stories might still feel attractive…, and [family issues bring doubt and fear that I can’t always sustain it]

Sangha (4): In this moment, there’s no ‘but’.

A: To which one?

Sangha (4) continues: I am aware of the sense of Being. In this moment, there’s no ‘but’.

A: But? ‘In this moment, there’s no ‘but’ ….’ But in the next moment, there could be a ‘but’?

Sangha (4) continues: Things catch at times.

A: If there is a ‘but’ what happens to Awareness?

Sangha (4) continues: Nothing.

Sangha (5): I know that I am, as Being. I feel like Awareness and Being are both Known. I know I’m Awareness…, if there’s a ‘but’ it’s that there seems to be no ability to know or (the word is coming) control whether that is always Known.

A:‘Whether I always Know that I am Awareness or not’…, that is the ‘but’. I know this is true right now, but I don’t know whether this will be true tomorrow or when we are out of the retreat.

Sangha (6): I feel more neither [none of the 3 choices] because I feel more that I am nothing; rather than to say I am something…

A: ‘I am nothing’. Okay, so we’ll add that. [to the list]

Sangha (7): I am Awareness, but as a Consciousness I am giving belief to appearance, thoughts. I am not living in pure Beingness. There is a clear recognition of being aware but not being Awareness.

A:Not being Awareness. (Okay, Maybe we should write these down. This one in particular I want to write down, which is)…, he says ‘There is a clear recognition of awareness but it is not Seen that ‘I am Awareness’.

Sangha (8): I am Awareness. [soft voice]

Sangha (9): It doesn’t quite cut it to say ‘I am Awareness’. [Inaudible]

Sangha (10): After having talked to you recently, I am Awareness but…, I know it will oscillate.

Sangha (11): I am Awareness. No ‘but’.

Sangha (12): I cannot say what I am. I don’t know.

A: What rings true most among the 3 choices?

Sangha (12) continues: I know I’m not Consciousness because I’m aware of Consciousness (or at least I believe I’m aware of Consciousness). Of course, I know I am Consciousness in the stories [playing out] and such. There is a deep sense of Awareness, but inwardly it’s a lie to say ‘I’m Awareness’. And also there is this thought or fear that gets bought that ‘Something can happen to me’.

A:So, it seems like there is a certain recognition of Awareness but it is not clear how that is Me.

And also a particular aspect of this conditioning which is this fear that ‘Something might happen to me’.

Sangha (13): It is clear that I’m Awareness, but I’m still buying my personal conditioning and thoughts and dive into the play.

A: But…, the play is still attractive. Let’s put it that way.

Sangha (14): I believe that I’m Awareness. I have complete trust in you. And I know that, checking, nothing seems to affect Me. But still, I feel that if I’m Awareness totally, it should have opened a different reality which is not there. That’s my belief.

A:So, is your belief in ‘I am Awareness’ just a belief? Or is it a recognition that ‘I am Awareness’?

Sangha (14): I can recognize that.

A:So, there is a recognition of Awareness, but there is particular condition that ‘If I was Awareness then the phenomenal existence would be different in some way’.

Sangha (15): I exist.

Sangha (16): I’m free now. Being and Seeing, everything is there. There’s Beingness and that is also Seen. But there’s dynamic living…, and I can see that because there is a dynamic living every day, something will be picked up. I’m not worried about the ‘but’. Fundamentally, I’m totally joy, I’m total abundance now. Right now.

A:If you had to pick (between the real reality of what you are).., if you had to pick between Awareness and bliss, what would it be?

Sangha (16) continues: Constancy. I don’t need states. It’s all tasted already. I need constancy.

Sangha (17): 90% I Know.

A: Now. What is it directly that you Know, between the three?

Sangha (17) continues: I know I am Awareness, but the Master has to confirm it, whether it’s a mind game. Maybe the mind is playing. Second one also, I know I am Consciousness. But also the Master has to confirm it. 99.9%, I am sure.

A:So, he says ‘I am Awareness’ but there is a condition of confirmation from a credible source, which is the Master. (for both)

Sangha (18): I am Awareness now. It’s clear that I must be Awareness all the time, but most of the time I lose myself in personhood.

Sangha (19): There is recognition of Awareness but the mind seems to be stuck in doing something…

A: There is recognition of Awareness as ‘I’? Or just a separate Awareness?

Sangha (19) continues: As ‘I’. But the mind seem to be stuck in doership.

A: And that mind is attractive?

Sangha (19) continues: Seems to be, yes.

A:So, favorite stories are attractive. Your favorite story might be about doership. Sangha (20): There is a sense of Awareness.

A:So, there is Awareness. And is there an ‘I’ which is separate from this? Is there a distinction between saying ‘I am Awareness’ vs ‘There is a sense of Awareness’?

Sangha (20) continues: There is no ego in this ‘I’.

A:So, the ‘I’ in this case doesn’t refer to the ego but to the reality of what you are. Still, the mind buts in with its favorite conditioning?

Sangha (20) continues: That’s also Seen.

Sangha (21): I am Awareness cast in a person’s mold.

Sangha (22): I feel like I’m Awareness, in meditation and satsang, but outside I’m still very identified to the person and I’m still picking up these stories and conditionings, and attention to the body.

Sangha (23): I’m Awareness. And every time I check, I’m Awareness. Being truthful, without giving power to the false, as Consciousness I seem to be acclimatizing to formlessness. It’s still a little bit unusual, shall we say.

Sangha (24): It’s completely clear that I’m Awareness. There’s no doubt. But why there’s this urge to pick up the thought? That part is still there.

A:‘Why is there an urge to pick up a thought?’…, is that in itself not a thought? So this one has some power over you.

Sangha (24) continues: The Awareness itself might be personal.

A:So, write this one down. ‘…But the Awareness itself might be personal’. Sangha (25): I’m neither Awareness nor Consciousness.

A: Then what are you?

Sangha (25) continues: The ‘Not-Knowing’ which cannot be described in words.

A:So, this which just Knows, and is unconcerned with anything in the phenomenal play, not even the body, this is what you’re finding when you look for yourself?

Sangha (25) continues: Yes.

Sangha (26): I don’t know. When you asked the question, the words seems useless. I am feeling what it is now; what it is. The mind makes an effort to speak about it but it just feels like silence.

Free, Luminous, Transparent Awareness

Ashtavakra Gita [1.14-1.17]

We have been looking at the wonderful Ashtavakra Gita. Let’s look at Verse 14 from chapter 1. [1.14] Ashtavakra says: ‘You have long been bound thinking: ‘I am a person’. Let the knowledge: ‘I am Awareness alone’ be the sword that frees you.’

So, it is this thinking; he says ‘You have long been bound thinking’. So, it is clear that the cause of bondage is this thinking. Now it might seem like he is saying just this thought is trouble ‘I am a person’. But if you look at all of our thoughts, you will find that the presumption behind all of them is that ‘I am a person’. The premise of thoughts is this personal identity. It cannot be that the premise is that ‘God needs this thought to function as to what to do next because God is confused; that’s why the thought comes to help God with what to do next’. Because if the thought would help God, the thought would be greater than God. Isn’t it? If there is something which is higher than God, if God needs advice from something, then that would be higher than God. So, that is the ego’s ultimate game plan, to be bigger than the Father.

‘You have long been bound thinking ‘I am a person’. So, all of our thoughts (even in satsang) have this presumption that ‘I must be this individual separate entity who is now even getting the truth or not’. So, if the thought is saying ‘Yes, I am really understanding this’ who is it referring to? Yourself with the label of your name; your Self as a form. Still that one. So, you have long been bound thinking ‘I am a person’. And then, (as we have seen in the previous verses) we are the one solitary witness; this Awareness. So, what does that need? What thought does that one need? So, to pick up a thought is to pick up the false conditioning, to pick up the lie. Then Ashtavakra says ‘Let the knowledge: ‘I am Awareness alone’ be the sword that frees you.’

I like this expression very much because it is not the concept ‘I am Awareness’ which can free you. It is knowledge with a capital ‘K’. So, let this Seeing, let this insight, let this intuition that ‘I am this Awareness alone’ be the sword that frees you. How can a sword free you? [Chuckles] How can a sword free you? It cuts that which is false. It cuts the lie. So once it is seen that ‘I am Awareness’ then the lie of being a person gets cut away, gets chopped away. (Very popular terms in satsang; chop your head off, [Chuckles] cut off your mind.) That is what it means. So, this Knowledge, which is direct Seeing (not mental knowledge) that ‘I am this Awareness alone’ is the sword that frees you. Therefore, to become free, what is needed? Only to cut of that which is false. As we start to cut off that which is false, the truth becomes more and more apparent on its own. As we stop giving belief to the false, then the truth becomes inescapable. Clear? Good.

[1.15] ‘You are now and forever Free, luminous, transparent, still.’

(This one is going to push some buttons.) [Laughs]: The practice of meditation keeps one in bondage.’

Again and again, over and over (by verse 15 already) at least 10 times the sage must have said ‘You are this Awareness’. Now, what can we say about this Awareness? [If you had to pick one] Between free and bound, you will say ‘free’. Between transparent and opaque, we say ‘transparent’. Between moving and still, we say ‘still’. Why I am making the comparison is because no attribute by itself applies to this Awareness. You see? That which is no-thing, cannot have any attribute. But in this world of opposites, you have to speak. Between the two, you will always pick ‘transparent, still’.

‘You are now and forever Free, luminous, transparent, still. The practice of meditation keeps one in bondage.’

How? Because most often it is seen that along with the practice of meditation comes the identity of ‘the practitioner’. See, bondage (as it has already been explained) is only the idea that ‘I am the person’. Therefore, action in itself cannot be bondage; also action itself cannot remove bondage. So, the action is just an appearance in the flow of Consciousness. So, it is not the action in itself which is your bondage, it is to take up the identity that ‘I am the person’ and in this case, the identity that ‘I am the practitioner’ or ‘I am the meditator’ which is the bondage. The only bondage is that ‘I am a person’.

Anything which reinforces that idea…, many of us have come across this idea that ‘I am a great meditator. I have been meditating so much’. So this, when it is taken on with meditator-doership as a personal achievement, then that becomes bondage because it reinforces the false idea of personhood. So, any action which is done with the sense of doership actually reinforces the false idea of personhood. So, the sage was trying to say that there can be this sense that ‘Only if I meditate enough; I have to bring my meditation practice from 5 hours to 10 hours and if I am able to do that, then I will be free’. But in that, what is missed is this sense of personal doer ship. There is still an ‘I’ which is trying to get somewhere, become better at something and practice meditation as if this false one (like the cat as I call it) will come to freedom for the cat. That is why the sage says ‘The practice of meditation keeps one in bondage’.

[1.16] ‘You are pure Consciousness, the substance of the universe. The universe exists within you. Don’t be small-minded.’

‘You are pure Consciousness’. We have been seeing for the past 3 days. When we check on our Beingness, on our ‘I-Am-ness’ what do we find? That this is now apparent ‘I Am that I Am. I Am this pure Consciousness’. What is the meaning of pure Consciousness? Then you can argue with a sage saying ‘How can Consciousness become impure? Why do you say pure Consciousness?’ Is it possible for this Consciousness, which he says is the Supreme power, that It can become impure?

Therefore, the only meaning of pure now is that it is unassociated Being. Pure Consciousness means it is not believing itself by pretending as if it has some personal attributes, personal

conditioning. It is coming to this ‘I-Am-ness’. Often we say in satsang that anything we say after ‘I am…’ is a story. This is what it means, you see. [Someone asked a question]

Q: [Inaudible question]

A:Yes, yes. Now we are talking about if you have come to this realization that I Am that I Am, the ultimate realization is that ‘I am aware even of this I am’. So, ultimately (we can say) ‘I Am That which is this Awareness’. But now the sage is talking about this realization of Being. When that happens. ‘I Am that I Am’ is also a beautiful, beautiful…, coming to a beautiful realization. So we must not (like my Master Moojiji says) ‘Don’t think that your Beingness is sort of a half way house to freedom. Already in the realization of Beingness, we cannot suffer in this worldly realm’. Then your life becomes the life of God. You are leading life as if you are this God

Presence. So, it is a beautiful realization also. You are pure Consciousness, the substance of the universe.

Then, (this also we have been discussing for the last few days) it is the I-Am-ness that everything is made up of and everything appears within. So, we have been checking (some of us). We check this experience of the sound of this fan; is it truly within Me or is it outside Me? And this Me that we are speaking about now is the Beingness itself. So, we saw that it is in the light of this Consciousness that everything comes about and it is within this Consciousness, the screen (as Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi used to say) of Consciousness where everything is getting played out. So, both the light and the screen are the same, which is this One Consciousness. So, it is this Beingness which is the substance of this manifest universe. Everything is encompassed within this Being.

‘The universe exists within you, don’t be small-minded.’ So, this universe, the sage says from his insight, is that all of this exists within this space of Being; as sometimes we say. ‘Don’t be small- minded’ means which mind is this way now? This mind. So, in the Vedantic tradition, like we were discussing the other day, they use the terms ‘small mind’ and ‘big mind’. Small mind means, this ego mind, this lawyer for the person. And the big mind means this Consciousness Itself. So, This One is That in which everything exists. What does it mean to be small-minded? It only means that we believe ourselves to be that which the small mind is telling us we are. ‘Don’t be small-minded’ only means ‘Don’t behave as if, don’t pretend as if’. You can never become the small mind; but you have the power to pretend to be this separate individual identity

[1.17] ‘You are unconditioned, changeless, formless. You are solid, unfathomable, and cool. Desire nothing. You are Consciousness.’

Cool, cool. [Laughter, lifts collar shirt to show cool] [Laughter in the room]

So then, the ‘unconditioned’ means the same like when it said pure Consciousness; that means unconditioned Consciousness. And we have been looking at conditioning. Often I have said that freedom is the recognition of the true and the dropping of the false, which is the conditioning;

and both are Now. Although the dissolution of the conditioning seems like it is a time bound exercise; but actually, in the Now, it is already gone. But it is the habit of picking up the false conditioning which seems to take some time to dissolve.

‘Unconditioned, changeless, (we have discussed this), formless. Although all forms come from This, It in Itself is formless. ‘You are solid’…, liquid and gassy. [Laughter] You are all there is already. So, any subservient definition we can ignore for now.

‘Unfathomable.’ I was once told that a fathom was a measure, like a measuring unit. You see. So, when they say ‘Unfathomable by the mind’ it means ‘It cannot be measured by the mind. It cannot fathom this’. That which you are, That which contains the universe itself…, can the mind fathom it? The best it will give you is some visual; but the visual is also a part of this manifest universe. So, it is not in the visualization or the imagination. The mind really has no tools to fathom this, but you are aware of your existence. Therefore, you must be something which is greater than the mind.

The mind. Okay, let’s look at it like this. There is Awareness. And we have experienced that there are states like sleep states where there is no manifest creation; there is no-thing at all. And then, for some unexplained reason, for some unfathomable reason (although my favorite one is for entertainment) there is the birth of this sense of Being; the sense that I exist. Now, if Awareness was all there is, then what must this Being be made up of? Awareness only; no? We have had that the direct experience that there is nothing; but I am there to have that experience.

Therefore, this sense of Beingness also must be just another form of this One substance which is Awareness alone. That’s why often I say that in reality, there is no difference between Awareness and Consciousness; but in qualitative-seeming, it seems like they are different. Just like in reality, there is no difference between water and ice; but if somebody splashes water on you versus throwing an ice cube at you, there is a difference. Isn’t it? Qualitative experience. So fundamentally, there is no difference, but in the qualitative-seeming it looks like there is a difference.

So then, what happens? This Consciousness is now present. We have already seen that within this Being. My advice to you is to not listen to these words as though they are beautiful poetry; they can be very attractive like this. You must take the words and you must use them for your direct checking: Is this True for me Right Now?

Is it not true that everything that is being experienced is being experienced only here. [Points to himself] ‘Here’ means not constrained by the body but Here within my Being, in the light of my Being. We must get the direct experience of these things as the sage is speaking them. ‘You are this unfathomable one!’ Now, in the realm of appearances as it comes, with everything coming, one of the appearances is also this mind; the energetic construct of thoughts. So Bhagavan [Ramana Maharshi] used to say ‘This bundle of thoughts is the mind’. We also bundle similar energies like imagination, memory, all these things; let’s call it ‘mind’. So this one, you see, (I am using a metaphor, don’t take it too literally) is like the grandson. There is Awareness within which this Consciousness came into shape; as many, many, many thousands of energetic forms came, there also came this energetic construct called the mind. It is the grandson of Awareness,

isn’t it? Now, can the grandson tell you authoritatively where the grandfather was born? No, only from hearsay. It is conceptual, you see? Because it was not there.

That which is later cannot profess the birth of that which was before. Isn’t it? So, that is why we cannot rely on this mind to be our guide to the Truth. You don’t need that mind because You were there, You are there. [Chuckles] You are That. So, the mind, when it tries to play the guide, we must ignore that; especially in the spiritual sense of things because it cannot be fathomed by the mind. It will give you some cheap representations, paintings of Awareness, paintings of Consciousness. But those will never represent in reality what You are. That is why it is important to make the point that it is unfathomable. Unfathomable by what? By the mind.

‘Cool’… [Laughing] Somebody has a good idea about this ‘cool’? It is really a supremely cool verse. The sage said ‘You are solid, unfathomable, and cool.’ (We should look at the original Sanskrit and see where that originates) ‘Unconcerned.’ Yes, this is a good one. It is not concerned by the play of the manifest universe. You see? This is a good one. So, the sense of even ‘aloof’ is not the best word for it. But aloof (like I am so cool about things, it doesn’t matter to me)…, you know? To be like that. So, aloof or unconcerned by the workings of this manifest universe not trying to go towards a particular outcome at all. It is very good. See, my feeling is always to read things fresh so when I am reading I am also enjoying saying ‘Cool’. Okay. [Laughter]

‘Desire nothing. You are Consciousness.’ Now as Consciousness, what could you desire? Everything that is appearing is already within You. You see? What lack can You have? What discontentment can You have? That is why it is said that this discovery ‘I Am that I Am’ …, this I Am-ness is full of contentment, joy, peace, Ananda. That is why it is said like this. But allow yourself to settle into this. Don’t mix it with desire so quickly. The mind will come and say ‘Okay, okay; you still suffer. Where is the bliss?’ You see ‘that’ itself goes from unconditioned to conditioned immediately. We still get a taste of the person of ‘somebody’ who wants a by- product. Consciousness is not asking for the bliss. So, as you allow yourself to relax into this, into this simple allowing, you find that there is no ‘What’s in it for me?’ The sense of desire starts to dissolve. And as the pull, the magnetism of this maha mantra of the ego ‘What’s in it for me?’ starts to dissolve, you find that your true servants (your true servants of love, peace, joy) all these appear to serve you.

So, we don’t have to desire anything. If it is still desire, then all desire is personal in that way. Even the desire for freedom is ultimately is personal. But I say sometimes, if you have to have a desire, then (if there was a spectrum of auspiciousness) at least have the desire for freedom; because at least with this one, you will come to the end of desire. If it is the truest urge, you will come to the end of desire. With everything else you have seen ‘Okay, I got this one, what next? I got this, then what next?’ When you come to the dissolution of that which is false, then the ‘what next’ will drop; the ‘What’s in it for me? What next?’ All this starts to drop. Then life seems full of ease. Even if it seems full of activity, even if strong seeming-events are happening around you, you will find that it is full of ease.

Once This is Truly Known

Ashtavakra Gita [1.18-1.20]

Verse 18. ‘That which has form is not real. Only the formless is permanent. Once this is known, you will not return to illusion.’

So, that which has form is not real. Real from which perspective? From the Reality of the Truth. Because we’ve seen that in the worldly realm, everything is changing. So, can we say that it is the Truth? So, if I was to say ‘The curtains are yellow’ then tomorrow they could become red; they could fade in the sun. So, is ‘The curtains are yellow’ the Truth? No. Because it is possible for them to change. So, in the same way, everything at the level of form (these bodies, this room, this ashram, this city; everything) is subject to change; is changing. In fact, I like this example that says ‘Every cell of the body changes over a period of five years. So, we say ‘I have had this identification with this body forever, for as long as I’ve lived’ but it is not true. Because there is nothing in common with this that is here now and that which was here five years ago. Those cells have all dropped off; new cells. So this form is changing. All forms we see are changing.

That is why attachment is a folly. Attachment is a folly because this realm is a realm of change. Attachment is to say that ‘This is mine, and should not change. It should always be like this’. We get attached to someone or something being a certain way. So when the change comes (and it is bound to come) that give suffering. To presume that which is ever-changing to be a constant is a folly.

To see that this realm is constantly changing is to see that this realm is unreal. So, you don’t have to go about labeling everything; meeting a friend and saying ‘Hey, you’re not real’. Not like that. But just to know, inwardly, that we are experiencing this ever-changing realm. Therefore to attach to it in any way would be a folly.

‘That which has form is not real. Only the formless is permanent.’ So, what is the formless? What is the formless?

‘Once this is known, you will not return to illusion.’

Is this true? So, you Know this now…, do you Know this? How many Know this; not just mentally but really Know this?

Sangha: Yes!

A:Will you return to illusion? [Laughs] I’ve heard so much enthusiasm, but we seem to return to illusion. So, how can that happen? Because there is this power of pretense. See? The power of belief is the power of pretense. So, this will continue.

Actually, it is a popular fallacy (especially in India) where we feel like the moment of Self- recognition is the end of all spirituality. And we feel like ‘Oh, I had that Awakening experience and now it cannot be bound’…., and that concept itself becomes the bondage; it becomes a

spiritual ego, it becomes a specialness. So, that is why I say that in spite of these moments of recognition, which can become clearer and clearer, you will find that the false conditioning will still try to lure you away ‘Come, come, come with me’. But what I would like to say is that once this is Known as the Truth then the tree of the false conditioning has been shaken to a large extent. And as deeper and deeper this Knowing goes, this Seeing of Itself goes, then this realm of illusion, this realm of belief in the pretense starts to seem more and more impossible to get to.

So, when the sage is saying ‘Once this is Known’ he is not talking about the glimpse of it or the Awakening ‘experience’. He is talking about That being Known; more than anything phenomenal being known. The Reality of who we Are is Known to such an extent; much more than any concept of some phenomenal appearance can be known. Once that becomes our Knowing, then the false cannot hold any power over us.

That is why one of my favorite examples (and I know I belabor it sometimes) is the example of: If our belief was that the sun comes from the West, and then someone comes and tells you ‘No, no, it’s not true. It’s just a concept that you have. You must go and check’ (which is a Self- inquiry experience). So, when you go and check, you see it comes from the East.

So, this is a glimpse of Reality but the mind still has potential for doubt here. It will say ‘But maybe only today it came from the East’. It’s saying ‘Maybe now I’m Awareness because I’m in satsang; I’m sitting with you. (We hear these things, isn’t it?) But when I go out of the satsang hall, I no longer am Awareness’. We hear these things.

Then the sage says ‘Okay, check again. Check the next day. Check the next day’. So, the more we are coming to this recognition over and over that ‘There is no individual entity here’ then we come to the point where it is clearly Known: There is no person. There is just This Awareness.

Then when someone comes and says…, the mind comes and says ‘The sun comes from the West’…, what to do? You just naturally laugh at it because we Know it’s a joke.

Verse 19: ‘Just as a mirror exists both within and without the image reflected, the Supreme Self exists both within and without the body.’

This is fairly obvious now. We just discussed this, that This is One Being. There is no separation between inside and outside. Inside and outside; there seems to be no real separation that is found.

Verse 20: ‘Just as the same space exists both within and without a jar, the timeless, all-pervasive One exists as Totality.’

Same thing. So, verse 20 was the end of Chapter 1.

The Mind Tries to Prove That Separation Happened

Q:About the labeling, if everything is from Consciousness, if everything is just One, then the mind is labeling every object individually, because there is this space between the objects. But actually the space and the object is the same thing.

A: Just like the dream is one dream…

Q:Then that space is just a different quality of Consciousness. So, it’s really not label-able, you can’t really label the difference between one object to the other and the space in between.

A:Yes. The mind’s attempt to ultimately prove to you that the separation happened. So, to prove to you that the separation happened, it has to show you this world of separate-ness. And to show you this world of separateness, where it says ‘Okay, that one is this one, this one is this one, this one is this one’. It starts to put labels. And with our beliefs we give meaning to these labels.

Q: Even between…

A:Yes, even between. That’s why when somebody says ‘What about my Being and her Being?’ I say ‘What about the space in between? Is that not the same Being?’ Isn’t it?

Q:And even between like a living thing and a non-living thing, there is no difference in that sense. So, labeling doesn’t make sense.

A:Doesn’t make sense; yeah. It is not the truth. Can we live like this? Yes, we can.

Q:Then it’s not possible to label things actually. [Pause] But…

A:Yeah.

Q:But …

A:[Laughs] I was waiting… [For the ‘but…’]

Q:Nothing…

A:Very good. So, like this we see, not just space but also time. How are we experiencing the movement of time? We are not. (Okay, let’s not go there.) All of infinity is Here Now.

Q: But then there is no movement, Father.

A: There is no movement. That’s what I am saying.

Q:This Now; the ‘that now’ and ‘this now’ is The Now. Does that make sense?

A:Yeah. I mean to the world it won’t make sense, but it makes sense.

The oneness of time, for the mind, is really very, very confusing. So, one decent example (but not very accurate example) is to say that it is as if you are watching this very beautiful large canvas. It is all already there, but we are using our attention to watch it in a flow. So, the canvas is there and the attention gives the sense of movement of space and time. You see? Even science has discovered this space / time continuum. Einstein theory of relativity says that if you are moving in the three dimensions, the seeming-three dimensions, at a particular speed, then you are moving that much slower in the dimension of time. So, if I was walking, time would move slower for me than it would move for you, because you are sitting. So, time and space are one continuum.

The four dimensions; (and who decided this limit?) Maybe this is like level four, class four where these four dimensions are being experienced. [Laughs] It could be. Many have said they have experienced sixteen dimensions (we won’t go too much into all that but) the fact is that in this sensory tool that we have in this realm, we seem to experience these three dimensions as if they are in space; and the fourth dimension as if we move in that dimension of time. But it could be another set of sensory tools you could have, where you would see that the four dimensions are visible to you as if they were space; and there is a fifth dimension, which is appearing as if it is time. So, just [Laughs] don’t worry too much about this. Just like watching the painting, we start from one side of the painting and you are watching it; it is a huge canvas. And you are watching, watching, watching. It seems like time is flowing. But it is not flowing for the painting. It is one painting. Attention is moving in space and time and it seems like the flow of space and time is happening. It’s not very accurate as an example, but this is where words are not that useful.

You have to rely on your own inner insights, which will continue to come. So, all of you who are feeling that ‘Oh, this recognition and dropping the false is some very boring kind of nothingness, limbo type of state’ …, it is not like that. These are the kind of insights that you will start Seeing and it will be so apparent that it is your living reality. Scientists are discovering this and similar things after hundreds of years of research. But these just come as insight to you and you see things as they are appearing. So, it doesn’t become boring. It is very insightful.

All This Time, I’ve Been Duped By Illusion

Ashtavakra Gita [2.1-2.2]

In the beginning [Of this Ashtavakra Gita] it is said that it is a unique scripture because Janaka gets it in Chapter 1. From Chapter 2 onwards, it is like a conversation between two sages. So, Janaka has also realized himself just by the power of the verses and the power of the Presence of Ashtavakra. And Chapter 2 onwards it is a conversation between two sages. But in the introduction, it was said that Ashtavakra also tests Janaka; tests his realization (so to speak). So, it sounds like a bit of fun also. Can we sample a bit of Chapter 2?

Chapter 2 is ‘The Joy of Self-Realization’. In the first verse [2.1] Janaka says: “I am now spotless and at peace. Awareness beyond Consciousness.” Look at that! “All this time I have been duped by illusion.”

How beautiful. The first words to speak after the initial question are of such clarity. ‘I am now spotless and at peace.’ Spotless; attribute-less. Peace of the kind which is beyond this phenomenal peace which can come and go. That which is unchanging, unmoving. That kind of peace.

Then he says ‘Awareness beyond Consciousness’. So, the distinction between the two questions [which Ananta asks as main pointers] ‘Can I stop being now?’ which makes it clear ‘I Am that I Am’…, but ‘Are You Aware Now?’ takes you even deeper to this recognition: I am that Awareness which is even prior to Consciousness.

The first thing that Janaka says are these words: ‘I am now spotless and at peace. Awareness beyond Consciousness. All this time I have been duped by illusion.’

Like this, we say ‘It has always been this. But I was just believing myself to be just this object in this realm. So, the appearance of this illusion, the appearance of this maya, then duped me with the appearance of these thoughts which were believed’. That is why the ego is the greatest con artist.

We were watching one scene from this movie called ‘The Revolver’ where the ego is the villain. And they say that ‘The greatest con that this villain has ever pulled is to convince you that you are that’. This con artist, this duping artist, has been playing here and we seem to have gotten into this pretense of personhood. Once we see that ‘Actually I am that Awareness, which is even prior to Consciousness, which is aware even of Consciousness’ then all this play of the individual, play of the body/mind, all of this seems very natural.

‘I am now spotless and at peace. Awareness beyond Consciousness. All this time I have been duped by illusion.’

He continues to say: [2.2] “By this light alone the body and the universe appear. I am Everything or Nothing.”

No-thing. As God, as Consciousness, I am everything. As That in which even God is born, I Am that No-thing. So, not the ‘nothing’. And I make this point over and over because I know the mind can grab onto these things and make it seem scary ‘Oh, you don’t want to become nothing, do you?’ But this is the no-thing from which all things come. So how full must I be? Full of potential and yet not limited by the potential. Because even when the potential expresses itself as this manifest universe, That which is came from (This Awareness) remains untouched. It is not that Awareness became tired using up all the potential of this manifest creation. It remains exactly the same; untouched and unmoved.

So, ‘I am Everything’ which means ‘I am Consciousness’ or ‘Nothing’…, No-thing; This Awareness. And it is by this light alone that this body and the universe appear. I’ve actually said that it is the universe, the manifest universe, which is the body of Consciousness; because there is no separation.

The better way to say ‘My body’ would be to say ‘This manifest universe is My body’. Then see where doership goes. Once we start to look at things like this, then see what happens to doership. [Chuckles] Out the window. . .

If You Just Look, You Cannot Escape This Self

Ashtavakra Gita [2.4-2.5]

Chapter 2: Joy of Self-Realization. [2.4] Janaka said: ‘As waves foam and bubbles are no different from water, so the Universe emanating from Self is not different from the Self’.

That’s why we said that like the hand and the finger appearing does not mean that something happened to the hand or that the hand is no longer the hand, or the finger is not the hand. It is this appearance of these waves that can appear and disappear within the Self, with no bearing on the Self Itself which remains untouched, unchanging and unmoved.

‘The Universe is emanating from the Self’. We just discussed this, isn’t it? We have experienced that there was no thing in that which we call the sleep state; and then we have the experience that ‘I Am’ now. So, if Awareness was all there is (is all there is) then even this wave of Consciousness, this ocean of Consciousness, it must be made up of what? This Awareness itself. And it is seen that it is ‘I Am’.

Many times in Advaita it can sound like (to make a qualitative distinction between Awareness and Consciousness) it can seem like ‘Oh, but there’s a duality’. It can seem like that. That’s why I have to re-emphasize this point over and over, that it is ‘I’ which is ‘Am’, ‘I Am’. Awareness Being; not separate, One, but playing as if the yin and yang, Shiva and Parvati. So, the unmanifest and the manifest are playing as if they are separate, but actually they are One. It is ‘I’ which is ‘Am’. Shiva and Parvati are One. Yin and yang are one.

Q: Son and the Father.

A:We can say son and Father only because this Awareness is Present from which this Being comes. But the son is no different from the Father fundamentally. That which arises within

Awareness is also made up of Awareness itself. So, we refer to it as ‘son and Father’ because

Father is there and then son arises from Source; so this is the Awareness exactly.

‘As waves foam and bubbles are no different from water, so the Universe emanating from Self is no different from the Self’. ‘I Am’ is not different from ‘I’. It is ‘I Am’.

Then Janaka continues to say [2.5] ‘Look closely at cloth, you see only threads. Look closely at creation you see only Self.’

Look closely. You see? I said after the break when I started sharing Satsang again, I said my provocation, my invitation to you, is to look deeply, look deeply:

What is going on? What is here?

Look. And if you just look (leaving aside all conceptualization, all interpretation) you cannot escape this Self. All that is needed is this open looking, simple Seeing. You are here. You don’t need to look for the Self somewhere else.

What is here?

If all that is phenomenal is an appearance, who is this appearance appearing to? Who is the Witness of these appearances?

Is it not You?

Is it not the Self?

Then all separation, all boundaries, even distinction between Awareness and Consciousness will be meaningless and you see that all of this is One Self.

And this looking deeply is the opposite of picking up a lot of spiritual concepts. Because the picking up of spiritual concepts is just this game of God-pretending-to-be-a-person and then the person-pretending-to-be-God again. When we go in that direction, we attach more things to this sense ‘I Am’. So, then it is God (‘I Am’) then pretending as if it is a spiritual person, or a realized person; and then that one pretending to be God (which is the most burdensome way to live).

Instead of that, we are coming to the dropping of this conceptual understanding, and coming to this simple looking:

Before I can pick up any pretense at all: What am I?

Who Witnesses my waking?

Who Witnesses my sleep?

Who knows right now that I exist?

Who is Aware of my existence?

It is You, it is ‘I’.

Bliss Too Will Pass

Q:Now there is fantastic joy!

A:What else?

Q:Bliss, joy, abundance!

A:[Laughter]

Q:Just being with you…, too much of spoon-feeding, you know? So much love. So much love. [Silence] All those things don’t matter. Just drown in this love. That’s enough. Don’t you think so?A: This too shall pass.

Q: This too shall pass?

A:I ought to give him the bad news. [Chuckles]

Q:Yeah, let it come.

A:Something happens, somebody tells you something …, then? Tears. ‘Why, why? I’m so caught up in my conditioning’. Whose voice is that one? You see? So, these are the ups and downs of the wave. Sometimes so much bliss, bliss, bliss. Sometimes so much grief, grief, grief.

When bliss comes, it feels like ‘Oh, this will not go. This will be like this’. And we feel like that. When grief comes, we feel sad because we feel like ‘Oh, but this might never go. I’m feeling so much sadness’. But in both cases, this too shall pass.

What is it that will not pass?

Q: That which Sees this. That which Sees this. Yeah.

Eyes Shining with Joy but Mouth Speaking Otherwise

So, can this retreat be like this Chapter 1 of Ashtavakra Gita? Are you going to be Janaka now? Or are you going to be Arjuna now? (We should not always be tough on Arjuna, great warrior. But you know what I mean.)

Are we going to quickly pick up this seeker perspective and say ‘But, but, but…, this is left’ (which are going to sound more and more like hollow excuses now)?

Yesterday I was feeling like ‘How long is still left in the retreat?’ Because it seems like not only am I done with what I want to say; when I look at your shining eyes looking back at me, it looks like You’re done! What else is there which is left?

When I look at your shining eyes like that, then I hear the mouth talking…. [Throws his head

back and rolls his eyes] [Laughs]

[Laughter in the room]

So, I wonder which one is telling the Truth? My feeling is that it is the eyes which are telling the Truth. [Smiles]

The eyes are shining with such great bliss and peace and joy and light and everything, and the mouth comes with a report ‘Father, I’m stuck with this thing’.

What?!? You don’t look stuck at all.

What’s your move now? Huh?

What Is Beyond Your Idea of A Terrible Life?

A:What is your idea of a terrible life? If life became terrible now, what would it have to bring?

Q:Poverty. A lot of medical problems. The rest I can handle. The rest is fine.

A:Guilt? Regret?

Q: It feels like it’s going away; these things.

A:It’s going away. You said poverty. We’re here in this Chinmaya mission [Retreat location] and Swami Chinmayananda, he was quite a revolutionary sage. So, he started sharing satsang and his Guru sent him from Uttarakashi, close to Rishikesh, down to share his teachings. And when he came, there was no money. So, he was sharing a class with 4 people and there was no money for lunch (or anything) so he would go the rest of the time and ask for some bhiksha from the people of Mumbai and get some donations and things, and that’s how he would live; teaching

4 people and begging for food and money the rest of the day. Then, what would happen is that he had this real urge to share with everyone. He wanted to get everyone to understand our Vedantic tradition, he wanted everyone to understand the scriptures. So, when he had some money, he would hire a cycle rickshaw and sit behind the cycle rickshaw with a loudspeaker and say ‘Come this evening and see Swami Chinmaya speak about the Upanishads’ while he himself was in complete poverty. But it sounds like such a joyful life, no? So, what would poverty take away?

Q:There’s just a fear of poverty because of not having experienced these levels of poverty, so there’s this ‘How would it be if the story has to go that way?’ But, I mean, it is quite possible that there are a few hick-ups and then I get used to it.

A: Yes. Good. So, poverty was first. Then?

Q: A lot of complicated medical problems at one time.

A:All together. But in that, a lot of insight comes. Like I say, whenever there’s an illness I find a lot of opportunity for inquiry to see that I am truly not the body. In fact, those are the times where this must be seen. So, in that I also don’t feel the body that much [would be a problem].

What next? Oh, I brought up the guilt, regret.

Q:It clearly feels like those are going away. I don’t know how or where they were picked up, but they’re definitely going away. And there’s very little expectation of how life should unfold. And there’s gratitude, for life for you.

A: Good, good. [Smiles warmly]

Blessing: Let Your Life Be My Message Now

You know, often it is said (the Master has said) that ‘My life is my message’. But actually, your life has to become my message.

Let your life be my message now,

that all those who come into your Presence recognize this light.

This is a blessing:

May all those who come into your Presence recognize this light.

So, the message will not be transferred as one concept to another concept there.

It must be transferred from the living truth here to the living truth there in this beautiful dance that we are playing together.

And it is completely yours for the taking.

Everyone who comes to you must see Your Satguru’s light.

This sangha, You, are my message to the world.

[Silence]

Janaka’s Joy of Self-Realization

Ashtavakra Gita [2.1-2.7]

We are on Chapter 2 of the Ashtavakra Gita, which is ‘The Joy of Self-Realization’. Let me just run through the first few verses that we covered yesterday. So, Janaka now realized through the pointings of the Master what his Reality is. And now Janaka is speaking from that space and he’s expressing the joy of Self-Realization. He says:

[2.1] I am now spotless and at peace; Awareness beyond Consciousness. All this time I have been duped by illusion.

[2.2] By this light alone the body and the universe appear. I am Everything or Nothing.

[2.3] Seeing there is no universe or body, by grace the Self is revealed.

[2.4] As waves, foam and bubbles are not different from water, so the universe emanating from Self is not different from Self.

[2.5] Look closely at cloth, you see only threads. Look closely at creation, you see only Self.

[2.6] As sweetness pervades sugarcane juice, I am the essence of creation.

‘As sweetness pervades sugarcane juice, I am the essence of creation.’ So, this ‘I Am’ is the fundamental basis of existence. It is Existence Itself. We cannot say something exists before ‘I’ exist. We cannot say something IS, before this ‘I Am’. So, we can say that this entire manifest world relies on this existence; One Existence, One Consciousness.

Don’t try to visualize this. Confirm that this is true. That appearance exists only when I am. Another seems to appear only when I am. So, this ‘I-Am-ness’ is the Source and it cannot be removed from the world; just like the sage says you cannot remove sweetness from the sugarcane juice because it is all-pervasive. In the same way, this Atma, this One Being, this Om is all-pervasive. The light of Consciousness and all appearances on the screen of Consciousness.

So, with this, the idea of ‘me’ and ‘another’ starts to fade away. The idea of separation starts to fade away. Because we check: Where is all of this? Where is all of this? Is it not inside Me? All that is being experienced now, where is it being experienced?

Is there any other space besides this one space of experiencing?

Both the outer and inner are experienced in this One space of Being.

So, ‘I am the essence of creation’.

[2.7] Not seeing Self, the world is materialized. Seeing Self, the world is vanished. A rope is not a snake, but can appear to be.

So, what does it mean? ‘Not seeing the Self, the world is materialized’ means what? As long as Being doesn’t come to the recognition of the Self, it can seem like the world has a fundamental reality. It can seem like this realm is real or it is substantive [substance] as long as we are not recognizing who we really are.

Once the Self is Seen, is recognized, then the world is vanished. What does it mean? Does it mean that the world of appearance will stop coming? No. The appearance will continue. Because even Janaka is speaking these words in the phenomenal realm, isn’t it? So, the phenomenal appearance continues to appear, but the sense of dependence on it, the sense of reality about it…

And what do we mean by ‘unreal’? We mean that it is not the truth because it is changing. And we’ve been saying the last few days that the truth is unchanging. Maya is that which is changing. And if you rely on that which is changing to be the truth, what happens to us? We suffer.

Every time we have suffered, we have misunderstood something which is changing to be unchanging. Look at our relationships. We get into a relationship and we feel like it will be the BEST thing, and we feel like ‘Now, nothing should change. I should just have it’. And then, when things start changing (because change is the way of this realm) then we start to suffer. Or sometimes it is also the other way. We want things to change faster than they are. We want our partner to change according to who we are. Just the same things that attracted us to that one, then when we seem to own that one, we want that one to conform to our image.

So, to expect the unchanging not to change, and to expect that this false one will be able to change something in this realm; both are the cause of suffering. The need for this is the resistance to ‘What Is’. That we either we don’t want it to change or we want to change it in a different way or faster than it is changing is the resistance to ‘What Is’. And it is this resistance to ‘What Is’ that is the ego.

So, this simple allowing, this simple openness is what we’ve been pointing to. You cannot be open and the ego at the same time. You cannot be open and suffer at the same time. Because this is the true acceptance. This is not the type of egoistic acceptance that we have in relationships sometimes. ‘Yes, yes, you are not up to the mark, but still I accept you’. [Chuckles] It’s not that kind of acceptance. It is that acceptance that ‘What Is, Just Is’. Allowing this realm to appear as it is appearing.

We find a way to resist everything. Sometimes I get some feedback from some of you that you are resisting me sometimes. You’re saying ‘I didn’t like this’ or ‘I didn’t like how you were’ or she said ‘I’m not liking you right now’. And even that, when you just check (even quantitatively) it is usually based just on a projection that we have. So, we can resist this life, everything in this life, this teaching, the inquiry, the teacher. Basically it is the unacceptance of our own Self; we

want to make something out of no-thing. This attempt to making something out of no-thing is the fallacy. ‘I will become something. I will become free. I am free now and I’m going to keep it!’ All of these ideas which still lead to this idea that ‘I am still something’.

Can we accept our non-phenomenal reality…, that we don’t really exist as people, firstly, as an ego, firstly? And secondly, as this phenomenal appearance, which is just this tiny toenail in terms of the reality of who I Am?

Can we accept that we are no-thing? And not acceptance mentally. But can we come to terms with our direct recognition of who we are, instead of giving that also to the mind and making something out of it?

So, we find that we are This no-thing, and the instant we even give that to the mind, the mind will say ‘Yes, that was quite an experience. Maybe we should just aim for these experiences all the time’. And immediately you went to this ‘I’ again that says that ‘I must do something. I must keep this. I have found this’. All of it is a fallacy. There is nobody there. (Like we were saying yesterday) there is nobody there. There is nothing there. No-thing there.

And I’ve also tried to debunk this notion (because language can be a very confusing thing) that the ‘no-thing’ is the ‘no-thing’ which is the absence of phenomena; like the empty nothing. The no-thing that you Are is this primal Knowing; the Knowingness, the Awareness. I want to say ‘Intelligence’ but even the word ‘intelligent’ will not suffice for it. It is beyond intelligence. It is That from which all of this comes. Consciousness is just an aspect of This.

What must that be, of which Consciousness is just an aspect; of which God is just an aspect? And from that aspect comes all of this. Light, sound, biology, physics…, this crazy world of these spinning balls, trillions and trillions of planets, these tiny balls spinning and expanding. All of this is coming out from an aspect of YOU. Can You fathom your greatness? [Silence] You cannot actually. [Chuckles]

What are You, that you start moving in one direction…, in this realm you start traveling; even at the speed of light, you will not come to the end of the universe.

What are You, that This is born within You; unlimited potential for experience, unlimited time, unlimited space? Infinite infinities come from within You. What are You?

So, it is not that ‘Oh, nothing. Just nothing! What’s the point? This satsang is so nihilistic’. Sometimes people start feeling that Advaita is nihilism. ‘Nihilism’ means just empty and meaningless and dark and gloomy; and we write sad stories about being nothing. It’s not this! [Chuckles]

This is the FULL nothing; full of potential and yet not dependent on the potential.

Are You the Auto Rickshaw Driver?

This kind of pointing is completely destructive to that which is false. But in the dissolution of the false, your Presence will start to shine with so much light. And even the worldly-appearance Beings will start coming to you, saying ‘There’s something different about you’.

Sometimes, you expect that to happen, and then you’re asked whether you’re the auto-rickshaw driver. [Room breaks into laughter]

[Laughs] Somebody here was in satsang with Guruji [Moojiji, in Rishikesh] and he just felt (that day) that he was Janaka. It was clear! He got it!

He felt like something must be glowing and radiant from him.

And then, he stepped out of the satsang hall, came out of the satsang gate, and this lady started walking toward him.

He felt ‘Is it starting to happen now?! Are people starting to recognize my light?’

And she comes to him and says ‘Are you the auto-rickshaw driver?’ [Laughing]

[Room erupts in laughter]

That’s also strong satsang, no? To see our expectations, to see our idea that ‘I might have gotten somewhere’. And how that also, life crushes.

That Which Has No Attributes is Timeless, Dimensionless

Q:You made some passing remarks earlier in satsang. You said that ‘The entire universe is like a speck’. So, how does it play? Can you explain it, Father?

A:Let’s see. These are things where language fails us usually. But if you check right now, and you sense the Presence of Your Being, and also get a sense for That which is aware of even this Being, you find that this recognition is beyond the realm of time and space; This Awareness. You instantly come to this Seeing of Yourself as timeless, as space-less.

Just to put it simply, if you were to say ‘What is the approximate age of this Awareness that you’re discovering?’ It cannot have an age. That which has no attributes is the timeless. What are the dimensions of This Awareness? You find that Awareness just IS. But it is dimension-less.

Then when you contrast this against the play of Beingness and the appearance of this phenomenal realm, you start to find that even this seemingly-infinite Being (as opposed to this no-thing) is at best a firefly glittering in the dark.

So, these insights will be experiential. And you will find that this Beingness…,

Now, also we must be a bit careful when we say these kind of things, which is that sometimes it can be that to prove within this realm that ‘I have absolutely come to the absolute discovery’ (and sometimes we make these kind of statements, but the fact is that) they can be spoken only from such a place of pure insight, speaking from the perspective of Awareness. Because, in the light of this realm, this Being that we are talking about just being a speck actually is the God of this realm; is the light and the screen of this realm.

But even that, compared to Your ultimate reality is just another coming and going. The Lord of this universe is a speck within You and it dissolves back within You.

So, let these words come from your own discovery rather than me giving you more concepts about this.

I Am Not Other Than Light

Ashtavakra Gita [2.7-2.10]

[2.7] In the second part of verse 7, Janaka continues: A rope is not a snake, but can appear to be’. So, we talked about the unreality or the changing nature of this realm, but it can seem like ‘I am this’ or ‘I am that’ in this realm. Many of you, sometimes you ask ‘Why did Consciousness create all this trouble?’ [Chuckles] And it’s a fair question; that if it is really beyond this, then why create all this trouble? First, why create the power of belief that itself. If it is belief that leads to identity, that leads to suffering, then why do all of this drama? What is it getting?

Like I say, for me, my favorite answer to this is ‘It is all for Its entertainment. It’s a leela for Itself’. How do we check this? We check on what we like for our own entertainment. [Chuckles] What are the books we like to read? What are the movies we like to see? If you don’t start to relate to the character, believe that you are the character, the protagonist, then the movie will be lifeless for you. If you cannot relate to the protagonist in the book or at least one of the characters in the book, then the book is lifeless for you. In a video game, if you cannot understand what your mission is, who you are in the game that is just appearing (hundreds of things just appearing and they’re going). You understand who you are; what you have to do. Who you are is your identity. What you have to do is your mission or doership. So, in this ‘video game’ also, to make it seem like it has some joy in it, Consciousness created It for Itself, the power to believe Itself to be just this measly body/mind organism. Why? Because It wants to play this way.

Now, I say that this is my favorite answer because I’m not claiming that this is the truth. Nobody can tell you what is the truth of this creation; why it was created. I can give you some options. I have told you my favorite one. You can also have another one, which is also very nice, which is that only when this creation happens does this Being experience love. So, we are here to experience love. So, if this one appeals to you, you can use this one. [Chuckles]

The point of most answers is to get the question to go away. [Laughs] It is not to tell you the truth. The point of most answers is to get the question to go away. So, if you feel like ‘Ah, yes, this realm is created to experience this Love and peace and joy and bliss’ then pick that answer.

Some others that don’t really appeal to me too much are the evolution of Consciousness Itself. Consciousness going from a lower level and creating this school for itself so it can progress to a higher level. All kinds of answers are available. My favorite is the entertainment one; and I would say second favorite would be the experience of love.

So, A rope is not a snake, but can appear to be’. And this ‘can seem to be, can appear to be’ is also by the design of Consciousness. So, it is not that Consciousness has fallen into some sort of a trap and now must be rescued through satsang. Although we call it a ‘rehab’ for Consciousness Itself by Consciousness Itself, it is the game of rehab. So, all of this is the design of

Consciousness to play the game and to also play the ‘getting out of’ the game; which is what we’re all (as One Consciousness) experiencing.

Okay, look at this one. [2.8] ‘I am not other than Light. The universe manifests at my glance.’

At my glance means? The universe appears; the sense ‘I Am’ and the universe is. Just in a glance; just in the appearance of this light, this manifest world appears. And this happens every day.

None of this is abstract. The mind comes and says ‘This is too far out’. You wake up in the morning, there is a sense of existence, and the universe IS. The dissolution of our attention and the dropping away, the dissolving of Beingness back into just Its source of Awareness is the end of the manifest creation. So, ‘The universe manifests at my glance’.

[2.9] ‘The mirage of universe appears in me as silver appears in mother-of-pearl, as a snake appears in a rope, as water appears on a desert horizon.’

Beautiful. So, all this aspect of creation that we’ve discussed already, the sage Janaka now is giving us examples of this. ‘The mirage of universe appears in me as silver appears in mother-of- pearl’ …, so actually, there is no silver (right?) in mother-of-pearl. It must be just appearing as if there is silver. And ‘as a snake appears in a rope, as water appears on a desert horizon’ which is the mirage.

So, all of this, as Guruji [Mooji] says, is ‘one big seeming’. All of this is ‘one big seeming’. Or, as Papaji [HWL Pooja] says ‘Nothing has ever really happened’. [Chuckles] Now, we’re starting to understand what this kind of terminology means. Without us settling into our recognition, these words can sound very strange. ‘What do you mean nothing has ever really happened? Aren’t you seeing these worlds? At least that has happened.’ So now you’re starting to realize what it means. ‘…as silver appears in mother-of-pearl, as a snake appears in a rope, as water appears on a desert horizon’ all are just mirages.

[2.10] ‘As a pot returns to clay, a wave to water, a bracelet to gold, so will the universe return to Me.’

Who can say these kind of words? ‘…so will this universe return to me.’

As these words are being spoken to you, is it like it is being spoken about somebody else? Or is it about you? Hmmm? Or is it about ‘You, but…’ Let’s chop off the head of this Ravan with the ‘but…’ now. Too much ‘but, but, but, but, but’.

Go with what you’re Seeing.

The Concept of Arrogance

Ashtavakra Gita [2.7-2.10]

Q:It felt very arrogant to say (not me as a person, but) ‘I am the center of the universe’. We have these concepts, conditioning or concepts, like the universe is there, it’s a thing, and we’re in it.

And we wake up inside it.

A:And now, when we check with our experience, what are we finding? Is it resonating with what the sages are saying?

Q: Yeah, there is no universe.

A:When does it come alive? When I Am. When is it not there? When I am not. So, the light of this universe is my Presence, my Being. And then, he [Ashtavakra] says ‘So will the universe return to me’. This light of the universe, this Presence Itself dissolves; and only Awareness remains. What happened to the universe? It dissolved within Me.

Q: Basically when you sleep, when dreaming stops, it all returns back.

A:So, the ‘but’ is what? The ‘but’ is that ‘Oh, but that’s too arrogant’. But how is that arrogant?

Let’s look at the concept of arrogance. Often I say that the mind makes everything upside-down.

So the mind says that ‘You are just a measly insect, a measly germ in this realm’. It says that ‘You must understand this idea about yourself; don’t try to see too arrogant’. Now, what would this imply? This would actually imply that there is one God and then there is me, the tiny, measly insect. But if that was true, how is it that this measly thing had the power to separate itself from God? In the same breath, we also say that ‘God is everywhere’. Many times we say ‘I’m leaving it to God to run my life’. So, what we’re mostly saying in the world is ‘God is everywhere but me’. Because if God is truly everywhere, there could be no ‘me’. And then we’ll create some notions about there being this B-I-G God and there being these tiny, tiny gods; aspects of Itself. Popular, popular notion.

But what is the recognition, what is the reality that we are discovering? Are we not finding the light of the universe right here? Are we not finding that the universe appears when I Am and the universe disappears when I am not? If we don’t go with any visual of ourself, if we don’t go with the sensation that is conveying that I have a boundary, and observe where even that sensation is experienced, what is the boundary of That One?

We’ve been checking over the last few days and seeing that all of this is happening within Me. I’m not saying to take this on as concepts. To know this as words just conceptually would actually be a dis-service. That is why in most spiritual organizations (and I’ve been speaking to some of the swamis here also) [at Retreat center location] and they were saying that Ashtavakra

is something that we do close to the very end of a long two year program (or something like this). Why? Because it has to come to the point where we come to the very direct recognition of these things. If you were just left with the concept ‘I Am’ or ‘I am Awareness’ it is not going to help in any way. In fact, it might even make the sense of an individual life even more oppressive; full of more suffering. Because you would be believing that you are this tiny bucket of flesh and blood, at the same time trying to believe that you are Awareness also; so when things happen you are trying to relate from both perspectives and trying to make the life of the individual better. All of those things can get mixed up.

So, when we’re looking at this now, we must ensure that we’re looking at these words and checking for ourself: Is this not my experience?

They [These words] have some credibility because Ashtavakra is saying them and Janaka is saying them and I am saying them to you in satsang. Use this credibility not to believe it, but to check on it. Most often we don’t have credibility in most things even to be open to looking at whether they are true or not. So at least, coming to satsang, when you say that ‘I’m coming to satsang’ you’re saying that ‘I have the credibility in this voice, I have a trust in this voice, enough to at least check’.

But don’t just take them on as ideas. Because if we take them on just as ideas then it is God – pretending-to-be-a-person-pretending-to-be-God. That is arrogance. Then I would say ‘That is arrogance’.

But coming to the discovery that You Are That (and you can smell it on yourself) when it is coming from a true place of recognition: I Am That. I Am the Witness of even this universe. The universe dissolves within Me.

So, you must not be shy to speak these words. But you must always (at least in the beginning) keep your nose open to smell. Is it coming just conceptually? Am I speaking from the true place of recognition? Or am I just trying to sound fancy or trying to sound spiritually evolved?

‘What is it for?’ is a good question.

Q:It just came, like, ‘Settle; before you say this’. It felt like the truth, and I could see. It’s like ‘Wow. All this time, believing this thing that’s not true. It’s clear’. It became like, basically, not to say it too soon; just to let it settle in.

A:But what is the discovery? The discovery is that all of this appearance is just an appearance and is spontaneously moving on its own. So, even if the saying of it has to happen like Janaka; he just heard the first few verses, 20 verses, and then he started speaking like this. There is no set template. Although if I were to give you advice, I would also say ‘Let it settle for a bit’. [Chuckles] It’s fine.

But if it has to move, like right now…, if someone starts speaking like Janaka is speaking, it would be very fulfilling. It would be very heart-warming actually. I would be very happy.

So, we don’t have to have a set template about it. But that’s why I said ‘Just keep your nose open to smell for it’…, to smell whether it is coming from some conceptual place, from trying to show ‘Hey, I got it!’ or something. Or just your mouth started moving on its own and it is speaking these words. And somewhere there are remnants of the old mind there saying ‘Wow’. [Laughs] That’s how the sharing started from here. It was like this. The words started moving from the mouth and the remnants of the old mind was saying ‘Not bad. This is good stuff’. [Chuckles]

So, false humility is as much arrogance as arrogance is. If we are in denial of our Seeing, that is as arrogant (if not more) as arrogance. So, don’t deny anything. Don’t be in a rush for anything. Allow it to move spontaneously.

The world (if you were to speak phenomenally for just a minute)…, if this realm needs something, it needs a million Ashtavakras. If all of them were sitting, saying ‘It would be too arrogant to speak’… [Chuckles] Of course, all of that is the will of Consciousness ultimately. But I said ‘speaking phenomenally for a minute’.

So, no false specialness. No false humility. Just a simple neutrality. And continuing to have the openness to be wrong…, this openness to be corrected by life; to be open to having the arrogance whacked out of you. Then, no trouble.

Filled With Wonder

Ashtavakra Gita [2.10-2.14]

I just want to read a few more and maybe come to a point where Ashtavakra asks him something. This voice was so beautiful:

[2.10] Janaka says: ‘As a pot returns to clay, a wave to water, a bracelet to gold, so will the universe return to Me.’

[2.11] ‘I am wonderful indeed…’ [Laughs] Arrogance? He says ‘I am wonderful indeed; beyond adoration. I cannot decay nor ever die, though God and all the universe should perish to the last blade of grass.’

‘I am wonderful indeed; beyond adoration.’ What does it mean? I am beyond That which is even the Supreme Lord, as we have been saying. Full of wonder; we can really wonder about that. As we come to the recognition of this, we are filled with a sense of wonder. And sometimes (and I’ve been making this point recently) I see many times we come to satsang and we keep hearing these words ‘You are not a person, You are Awareness’. And it’s become wonder-less many times. So, I try to get a sense of wonder in this sometimes. You are not a person! How wonderful is that! And you are recognizing this. What are You? You are not a person. What kind of discovery of this? This discovery which was only made available to a handful over centuries. Now through the graces of Bhagavan [Ramana Maharshi] and all the Masters, is now being brought to everyone. You are not a person. Even the light of Consciousness, this God, appears within You and dissolves back within you; the entire universe. What are You?

That’s why I have to laugh when someone says that Advaita is too boring or intellectual. I know how it can feel like that. But what is really being said? All our concepts are rubbish. All our ideas are rubbish. There is no individual entity here. All that exists is in the light of this One Consciousness. And from the perspective of the world, this light of Consciousness (Beingness; this Consciousness) is the Supreme Lord. But Seen from what you really Are, even this is coming and going. You are THAT solitary witness to this entire play, this realm. Is that not wonderful? Beyond wonder?

‘I am wonderful indeed; beyond adoration. I cannot decay nor ever die, though God and all the universe should perish to the last blade of grass.’ Who can say like this? Completely shocking to the mind, to say ‘…though God and all the universe should perish’. [Chuckles] ‘I cannot decay nor die’.

Now, one confusion that can come up is that some of you like to use the definition of God to be this Absolute Awareness Itself. So, if that is your definition of God, then the ‘I’ that cannot die is this One, God that cannot die. So it depends on what you are referring to as God. Usually in satsang what we refer to as God is this Consciousness; which also for that Absolute Awareness is

also a coming and going. But I have no problem. If you want to refer to that Absolute Awareness, that Self-unchanging as God then that is fine. But just know that when the sage is speaking about God, he’s talking about Consciousness also coming up and dissolving within Awareness.

[1.12] Janaka again starts with ‘I am wonderful indeed; beyond adoration. Even with a body, I am One. I neither come nor go. I am everywhere at once.’

He says ‘I am wonderful indeed; beyond adoration. Even with a body, I am One.’ So, what does this mean? Even though the body appears and seems so intimate, and tries to convince me that I am this through the play of its sensations, I see that I am That One, the eternal Witness, untouched by the coming and going of this body; because ‘I neither come nor go’. This body will come and go, but That which Witnesses this body will neither come nor go.

And ‘I am everywhere at once’. Another way that we say it is that everywhere is within Me. Time and space are within Me, so there is nowhere where I am not. Because if the entirety of space is just an appearance within Myself, then where can I not be? I am everywhere.

[1.13] Okay, now Janaka is really getting full of it. ‘I am wonderful indeed; beyond adoration.’ (I’m sure Ashtavakra is going to come with a chop soon.) [Laughs and laughter in the room]

‘I am wonderful indeed; beyond adoration. I am astounded at my powers.’ [Laughter] (Chop is coming.) ‘I am astounded at my powers.’ He is speaking the truth, and it’s coming from a very beautiful place.

‘I am astounded at my powers. The universe appears within me but I do not touch it.’ And it does not touch Me. Very beautiful, very beautiful. So, we’ve explained all this.

Guess how the next one starts? [Smiles]

[2.14] ‘I am wonderful indeed’. But it is also refreshing like this, because you know what happens with the seeker mindset? ‘I’m so stuck. I’m just not there. It’s not happening. Maybe next retreat’…, all this stuff keeps going on. So, it’s very refreshing to hear someone say ‘I am wonderful indeed!’ But if it’s instead like ‘I am wonderful indeed, I am the king of this universe!’ that is a Ravana voice. So, we have to smell for that, but otherwise, beautiful words.

‘I am wonderful indeed; beyond adoration. I am everything thought or spoken, and have nothing.’

I am everything thought or spoken, and have nothing.’ because everything is made up of Consciousness; thoughts, words, all of this is also of the play of Consciousness. So, who is thinking, who is speaking? Consciousness Itself. So, these words are Itself playing with Itself.

‘…and have nothing’. You see? That which has everything doesn’t say ‘I have something’.

How Can Attention Check for That Which Has No Attributes?

Q:Father, anything you can say finite or measureable has to be the other end of the attention, so only then you can say it is finite or infinite; measureable. So, when I check about Awareness

(Am I aware now?) attention just goes to its source. Things merge; so it doesn’t stay as attention when the recognition is there. So, you cannot even say ‘The Awareness is infinite’ or something, because you don’t know. The attention itself goes back to it. So, it’s like a black hole which might have potential to create infiniteness but It Itself cannot be finite or infinite. Right?

A:Yes. That is why it is important to see that attention tells you about the things which are phenomenal to life. Using attention, (maya means also ‘to measure’), so using our attention, we can get the measure of things; we can fathom things. But that is only when it applies to the phenomenal realm. Attention is a tool that works in accordance with our Being to bring all of this phenomenal play (the appearance) into life for us.

Now, you yourself say that ‘When I check: Am I aware now?’ I find that attention has no role to play; that’s why the discovery I’m making must be non-phenomenal. Now, what can we truly say about that which is non-phenomenal? Does it have a size, a shape? We cannot truly say anything. But, there might come a point where this insight seems true to you, which is that ‘That which is phenomenal is just a coming and going. It is a coming and going. But this non- phenomenal is My eternal Self’.

Now, this cannot be pointed to accurately with any words. But to point to it in this play, we have to try and use some words. So, that Awareness that you’re checking now, if you had to pick a label which was whether it is transparent or opaque, what would you pick?

Q: Transparent.

A:But can you really say that?

Q:No.

A:Because even transparency and opaque-ness you check with attention. Isn’t it? So, in the same way, when we’re giving these kind of attributes to the attribute-less One, they are making the pick (in phenomenal terms) of that which sounds true-r…, but is not ultimately true.

Q:So, also it is true that nobody is touched or untouched, because even to check whether it is touched or untouched, you need attention to compare it.

A:To see that That which is not in this realm at all…, that is the discovery. Isn’t it? There is this phenomenal realm of appearance and the Awareness that I’m finding Myself to be…, (when I

used to say this, though, people used to get shocked, because I used to say) ‘You are not in this universe at all. This universe is just an appearance within You’.

So, if You’re not in this universe at all, because you’re not phenomenal at all (and this is a phenomenal play) then between ‘touched’ and ‘untouched’ what will you pick?

Q:Untouched.

A:Good.

Q: But still it is a conclusion, right? It may be the closest, but…

A:Yes. Because the concept of ‘touching’ cannot apply. To That which is non-phenomenal, a phenomenal term like ‘touched’ does not apply.

Q Yes, exactly. That’s why I was confused.

A: Exactly. But terms are available only phenomenally.

Q: Even ‘Awareness’ is not true.

A: Even ‘Awareness’ is not true. Yes. Very good.

Death Cannot Hurt This Seeing

Q: This morning, death came to visit me, Father. Ah…, I have to say, I got scared.

A: What was it offering to take from you?

Q:This ‘me’. And initially, it was really nice because I could just watch it and I could sense this fear just fill up my Being. And initially there was an allowing of it but it became really powerful and I wanted to run; pull my hair out, just pull it out. [Laughter in the room] I wanted to wake up right now. And I actually came and sat outside your door for a short while because I just wanted to be close to you. Then I went and had some tea or whatever and I came back. And then again, I sat down and I kind of invited this fear again. You know? Again it came, and this time there was an allowing, Father, but it didn’t seem so intense this time around. I don’t know what. And I have to say there was a little bit of guilt that came up about…, because when you asked ‘Are you willing to die for freedom?’ the answer was that there was fear. I know it’s all stupid …

A: No, it’s okay.

Q: …but the allowing wasn’t complete, Father.

A:In itself, it’s so beautiful. Even this much allowing is a lot. Because if something comes like that and you feel ‘It’s over now. Everything that I’m attached to is going to be snatched away right now, this instant’ then some fear is bound to come with that. And even to say that ‘I sat

with it for some time, with the allowing’ is very beautiful, it’s very powerful.

We must not be too hard on ourselves. All this is beautiful Grace and is a fruit of your openness to your looking at who you are. And then you will find that as more and more you can make this kind of invitation, that ‘Okay, even if Yamraj, death, has to come and take away whatever it can take away, I am open’. Just to make that invitation is very, very beautiful. Because it means that you are open to the dissolution of this phenomenal realm, even within the experience of this phenomenal realm. You’re open to waking up from this waking state to allow the false to die while you’re still alive.

So, guilt has no place in this right now. Only a rare one can say ‘I felt fear but then I still made an invitation for it to come back’. So, now, what to do?

Now you forget about even death. You continue with your recognition, your Seeing of who you are and dropping any ideas about yourself. And if an experience like that has to visit again, it will. If it doesn’t have to visit, that’s okay. Whether it is explosive or sober, don’t even worry about that.

Also very beautiful; I understood something about the Chinmaya Mission [where the retreat is being held] the other day (and it is kind of a paradigm-shifter for me also to hear this)…, they say they make no distinction between the teachers. They don’t make a distinction that this one is realized, this one is not realized; whether this one is an Awakened Being or not. Because when they come, they’re sharing the words of their Master, with his blessing. And I realized it’s so beautiful to drop this kind of mental distinction; just to allow it. To see that if I come into the Presence of someone and there is something being clarified, made clear, then that is enough. Why we have to go and make these benchmarks ‘Oh, he is my Guru; he cannot be my Guru because he is realized but he is not realized’. Who is to say these things? Better to See, enjoy the Presence, See what the Presence feels like to you and be with the integrity of your own truth. I feel many times we get caught up in these games. And when you drop it from the outside then you’ll drop this pressure also from the inside ‘I have to get this realization. I have to get this enlightenment. I have to get this’.

What is it that you are not already? You Are this Awareness. The only seeming-distinction in this realm is that the One God is pretending to play person/person more somewhere and less somewhere else. Fundamentally, is there any difference? No. All is this One Consciousness. All is this One Being.

And all of you coming to satsang are getting the recognition of who You Are and are also dropping the false conditioning very beautifully. You don’t have to attain some benchmark. There is no 100% enlightenment. All the sages that I have met also have believed a thought. Only the duration of the belief seems to contract more and more. In this apparent play, the play of conditioning will continue to play out for all apparent Beings. All that we can do is to See who we Are and to not buy that which is false. That’s all that’s needed.

In this moment, you are as much a sage as anyone else. Now, Now, Now; before you have the chance to think about it. All the sages are saying the same thing, that ‘You and I are One’. And even in the worldly play, we are the same. They are saying that. Except you seem to be believing more of what the mind is saying. I’m saying what the sage would say; you seem to be believing more of what this mind is saying, I seem to be believing less. That’s all.

Death cannot hurt this Seeing. Death is also Seen. All states are Seen. And there’s nothing to be so scared about death because you experience sleep every night where everything dies; the universe dissolves. Only we give ourselves some false consolation by saying ‘Oh, but it will be back here tomorrow again’. We don’t know which realm will appear. If a dream can last a lifetime, there can be a million dreams that can last a million lifetimes.

So, nothing so much to fear about death. But it is natural because we have had ideas about death, so it is natural for some fears to come.

How to Invoke the Presence of the Satguru?

Q:How do you invoke the Guru? How do you find him and where do you find him? In your

Presence, when we talk about Ashtavakra, the real feeling is Amrit is here to drop. That’s what we are. But when we’re out, then the feeling kind of fades away and you don’t know how to invoke that back.

A:How to invoke my Presence is easy. Monday at 11 am you log onto Facebook [Laughing] …

[to find the link to online satsang which happens Monday-Friday weekly, usually.] I know what you mean. The Presence of your Being, the unassociated Being is the Satguru. The power of the Satguru is that the appearance of such a One in this phenomenal realm shows you that there is a complete possibility to remain unassociated with the ego and that the normal functioning of life can still continue. And, in fact, it’s a beautiful appearance which is so magnetic. The outer

Satguru is only pointing us to the true Satguru within. How to invoke this One? To find the Presence ‘I Am’ [check to see]: Can you stop being now? This Beingness, unassociated with any concept, is the Satguru. Always, at the core of your existence, it is only This.

Q:But is he so dumb that he cannot act on his own; your inner Satguru? The inner Satguru may be your intuition, spiritual intuition?

A:Let me explain. Now, Consciousness (we have seen) has the power of pretense, the power of belief. And in most of humanity, it is picking up ideas about Itself and pretending as if it is personal. But even in the pretense, the reality of it is unchanged. So it is the will of the Satguru, it is the will of Consciousness to experience Itself in a personal way, that it is operating like that.

Now, (it is designed for Itself, this play) to get rid of all this conditioning, even that it wants variety and music, drama; it wants all of that experience to happen so it has designed all these various paths for Itself, to free itself from this delusion of personhood. So, some will do karma yoga, some will do raja yoga, some will do self-inquiry, some will do hatha yoga…, all of these various things they will do. If the urge is real, they will be doing them to drop all of the conditioning. So, this is what is happening, where the Consciousness playing with interest in the personal game is adding more and more conditioning to Itself. And Consciousness losing interest in the personal game and wanting to return to Its own simplicity, Its own innocence, is following the spiritual path which it has created to free Itself from all of this conditioning.

Depending upon your temperament, the path which is most appealing to you is the path to the Satguru. For some, words like ‘Faith, devotion, service, love’…, they sound like terrible words. For some, words like ‘Inquiry, intellect, asking yourself questions’…, they sound like terrible words.

The purpose of that form [Satguru] is to become the object of your devotion so that it can lead you to the formless.

The Transparent Self

Ashtavakra Gita [2.15-2.18]

[2.15] Janaka said: ‘In Reality, knowledge, the knower, and the knowable do not exist.’

So, what is the knowledge that is being spoken about here? This conceptual knowledge, mental knowledge. All that we have known is being set aside now. Just like there is no doer, there is no thinker, there is nobody to know this conceptual or phenomenal knowledge. There is no knower of the small ‘k’ knowledge. There is nothing to be known mentally also; nothing that can be known mentally. And all of this realm of appearances is just one appearance.

So, it is this interpretive mind which has been the cause of all of this trouble, pretending as if ‘Now I know something’. And it happens in every moment for most of humanity that they are going with the interpretations of ‘What Is’ instead of just remaining in ‘What Is’. It happens that we meet someone and the mind starts talking. ‘I don’t like the way he looks. He looks a little this way, that way’…, you see, it makes conclusions. So, then we actually meet this apparent one, what actually happens is that we meet an idea of that one, because we feel that we know something about it; but actually we don’t know. We look at situations and we come to conclusions as if we know something about it. But actually we don’t know. This false knowing, these false conclusions, mental understanding, has not got us anywhere. Because there is no separate knower and nothing separately to be known.

When this false knowing is dropped, when we clear up all these ideas (even spiritual ideas, concepts) when all of them are dropped, then we come to See that there is a deeper Knowing, the true Knowing, the only Knowing there is; this Awareness, the Knowingness Itself. That which Knows of your existence; but not as a concept. That which Knows Itself but has no concepts about Itself. That You are Aware Now is a deeper Knowing, is a deeper Seeing, beyond the realm of concepts. Because there is nothing to interpret there. You do not find any phenomena there.

And I’m actually happy that when I look around in the room I see there is resonance with this. You’re coming to grips with your non-phenomenal Self, which is beyond this realm of phenomenal knowing, mental knowing.

‘I am the transparent Self in which, through ignorance, they appear.’ So, the transparent Self; we discussed yesterday that This Awareness, this Self, if we had to pick a label of whether it is transparent or opaque, we will use the label transparent because there is nothing to be seen there; it does not block anything. It’s completely transparent, completely pure, completely innocent. And even these attributes do not ultimately apply. But all language has been created only for the phenomenal realm. That’s why, using language, we can just point to this and we can use the words which come closest to describing it. But no description actually fits completely.

‘…the transparent Self in which, through ignorance, they appear.’ So, this idea of knowing something (that something can be known) this is ignorance. That I can understand anything in the phenomenal functioning of this realm is already to give it more meaning than it deserves. Because in the reality of who you Are, all of this appearance has no meaning. But this ‘no meaning’ is not a nihilistic sort of ‘no meaning’. It is a freeing sort of ‘no meaning’. It makes us free to recognize the reality of what we Are. And as this recognition comes, then it becomes a play.

A child is playing on a swing. He’s not trying to understand the mechanics of the swing. He is not trying to figure out what is the angle he should swing at to get the perfect swing. He is just enjoying the play of the swing. So, all our mental knowing has been trying to figure out how to make the swing work. ‘How does it cause me enjoyment?’ We’re trying to conceptualize these things instead of just playing with this realm; instead of just allowing it to function. And there is nothing that you have to do to experience the enjoyment of this world. It is natural, it is automatic; except when you sit and try to think about it or try to get some concepts about this phenomenal appearance. Better first to get a deeper understanding about who You Are. And then all of this appearance will be Seen to be just what it is; just an appearance.

Verse 16 [2.16] is ‘Looking at One and seeing many is the cause of all misery.’ Beautiful, no? Looking at One and seeing many is the cause of all misery. All of this…, ‘This is my sangha, this is this one, this is that one, this is this one, this is the Master’. All of this labeling gets us nowhere. In fact it is the labeling which is the seeming-separation in this One appearance. So what does it mean? ‘Looking at One’…, we’re only looking at One. ‘Seeing many’…, interpreting this One to be as if it is many…, ‘is the cause of all misery’.

Then what happens? When we see something, we feel like ‘Oh, that I want’ so that becomes an attachment; I want to keep it that way. So, that causes misery. Because nothing in this realm stays that way. It’s constantly changing. So, if you say ‘I want that’ you’re picking and choosing between this one appearance and saying ‘This I want, this I don’t want’. The desire causes suffering and the aversion also causes suffering. We say ‘Okay, all this is good, but I don’t want that’. Many times it will happen also in satsang; we say ‘I want all the good stuff, but I don’t want to experience any frustration. I don’t want to experience any so-called negative emotions’. But how do we know what it is for if we don’t allow them to release and we just keep repressing them? That is aversion. So, both the wanting something specific (in this realm which is universal) and the trying to push away something specific (in this one appearance) both are the cause of misery. Both desire and aversion make us miserable.

‘Looking at One and seeing many is the cause of all misery.’ So, then, what should our attitude be? And both are fine. One way is to look at this One appearance and say ‘This entire thing is fine. I accept everything that appears’. Then we are not picking and choosing our experiences. The other is to turn inward from the realm of appearance and say ‘What else is here?’ You see? ‘What else is here?’

So, to accept everything ‘as is’ is surrender. A way to say it is ‘Let Thy will be done’. Meaning what? Let everything that has to appear; let it appear. I’m not making a distinction between this or that. This is acceptance, this is openness, this is Surrender.

The other way is to say ‘Okay, all of this realm of appearance is here as One appearance. But who am I in all of this? Am I here? Am I an appearance? Who is the witness of this appearance?’

So, in either case, when we take this apparent realm to be One, whether we become in complete acceptance of it; or we start to inquire ‘Who is it appearing to?’ it will bring us to the realization of the One Truth, that ‘I Am Awareness, that solitary witness’.

‘The only cure is to realize what is seen is not there.’ What does it mean; what is seen is not there? It means it does not have a tangible existence. It has no permanence. And we’ve looked at the definition of Truth where we said that ‘Only that which is unchanging can ultimately be called the Truth’. Everything else is a relative truth. So, what is appearing…, ‘The only cure is to realize what is seen is not there.’ That means this phenomenal realm doesn’t really exist in the way that the Reality of I exists. This Awareness is the eternal, unchanging One in which all these realms come and go.

This realm appearing, it is seen now; it goes. Sleep comes, everything dissolves. Then another realm comes. In this waking state, we call that the dream state. If there was memory of this waking state in that dream state, we would call this a dream. So, all these appearances are coming and going. Who is that witness to all of these realms, and to the no-thing which is sleep?

‘I am One; aware, blissful, immaculate.’ So, This Awareness is One; unchanging, unmodified, un-label-able Oneness. Now, what is the bliss that is spoken of here? That is the same as the bliss of sleep. Why is it that when we get tired, we want to experience this bliss of sleep? Is it like the tasted bliss that we talk about in this world? No. There is nothing in sleep. But even to rest in that nothing-ness is being described as blissful. That is why Papaji used to say that you could be on your wedding night in the arms of your beloved but when sleep comes calling and you’ve had enough of this realm of experiencing, then nothing seems attractive to you and you go to sleep. That which is beyond this bliss that can be experienced in this realm.

‘Immaculate’ means that there is just no attribute. That which has no attribute cannot have any change. It remains as pure as ever; unchanging.

[2.17] Janaka says: ‘I am unbounded Awareness. Only in imagination do I have limits. Reflecting on this, I abide in the Absolute.’

The unbounded Awareness; we saw that it has no boundaries. Boundaries apply only to that which is phenomenal, to that which is an appearance. To That to which all appearances are appearing, That Itself cannot have any concept of space. And that which is not subject to the concept of space cannot have any boundary.

Only when I imagine myself to be something limited, when I imagine myself to be surrounded by this body…, a very popular presumption, isn’t it, that I’m something enclosed within this body. It is such a silly idea and it is so popular. Because no surgeon has ever found this ‘I’ that was sitting inside the body. Nobody has ever found this ‘I’. Then somebody will say ‘But what if it is the brain which is creating Consciousness which creates all of this?’ But what would that mean? That would mean that first there was a brain without the rest of the world; just a brain and there was no world. [Chuckles] But where would the brain appear?

Sometimes the mind gives us such tricky things but when we really look at them, what would it imply? ‘The brain creates Consciousness’ (and I admit that Consciousness projects this entire world, just like the dream world) ‘but how do I know I am not that dream?’ But if you were to just look; is it possible that prior to Consciousness, which creates everything else, there is this substance called ‘the brain’ hanging about in nowhere, in limbo? How would that brain…? Is that not also made up of Consciousness? And anyway, which brain are we talking about? If a surgeon was to operate on the dream body, would he not find a brain there? So, is that the brain that is operational? Or this one?

So, we see that even this idea which tries to hold on to some sense of individuality or some sense of body-reality is false. It’s absurd actually. It’s impossible to just have a brain in nowhere. So, all the organs of this body are the projections of this One Consciousness. First, I Am. Various bodies I have had. All of them seemingly had functioning organs.

So, ‘Only in imagination do I have limits.’ How many of us now See that it is the body which is within the ‘I Am’? Or how many of you still feel that this ‘I Am’ is contained in the body?

Most of you See that it is this cloud of the body which is appearing in the sky of Being. And not the visual that the mind is trying to give you that it is this Being which is contained within the body.

So, then, what did Bhagavan [Ramana Maharshi] mean when he said ‘Heart’? He only meant this seeming-sense of origin of the sense ‘I Am’…, which for many of us or most of us it seems like this sense ‘I Am’ emanates from this Heart. But it is not a physical heart. It just is experienced this way. Some of you don’t have this experience. You feel that ‘I Am’ is just everywhere. So you get confused when Bhagavan said ‘Heart’. ‘What does it mean?’ Because for most of us, the experience of ‘Am-ness’ seems to be centered around this non-physical Heart region. And yet, it is boundary-less. That is why Bhagavan used the term ‘Heart’ to describe this non-physical Consciousness, this not-body-restricted sense of Being Itself.

And the mind will say ‘You’re using your imagination to pretend that you are the Absolute’. But it is the other way around. We’re using our imagination to pretend to be bound by this body.

[2.18] Janaka says: ‘I am neither free nor bound. The illusion of such things has fallen into disbelief. Though I contain creation, it has no substance.’ That which has no attributes cannot be bound. That which cannot be bound, the concept of freedom also does not apply. I am This Awareness which cannot be said to be (in reality) free or bound. But if somebody puts a gun to our heads and forces us to pick, then we will say ‘I am free’ because bondage is completely impossible for that which we cannot even place in time and space.

‘The illusion of such things’ which means the ideas of freedom and bondage ‘have now fallen into disbelief’. They do not apply.

‘Though I contain creation, it has no substance.’ So, all of this creation is contained within Me but it fundamentally has no reality to it; it has no substance to it.

Am I in the Body or is the Body Within Me?

Q:I can see this body, which seems real. This ‘I Am’ seems personal. But these two both, I can see as a concept. So, is it right Seeing? Or am I making some concept? If you could talk about this.

A:Let’s be clear about this. Why does the body seem real? Because the sensations which seem to be body sensations, they can seem very intimate to us. Isn’t it? So, when we check on what is here, we quickly find that there are these sensations experienced, which presumably are body sensations.

Now, because of the intimacy of these sensations; that’s why you feel like this body is something that exists. But we have also Seen (just like all other appearances) these sensations are also appearing and disappearing. Sometimes it feels like ‘I have no body at all’…, we’re just floating in space, because these sensations are not being felt to that extent. So, these sensations are also in the realm of appearances.

Now, what we can do is to check whether I am enclosed within these sensations of the body. Or whether these sensations also are experienced within Me. Just as the sound of this fan, the sound of this voice; everything is experienced within the same Being…, the same way these sensations are also experienced within the same Being. Isn’t it?

Therefore, we find that it is not the body boundaries that define us. But the boundaries of this body (because in this play we find that we can participate in this way as if we are this body/mind) unless we look closely at this, it can seem like ‘I Am’ Itself is enclosed within these sensations. But as you’re checking now, you must be finding that where these sensations of the body are appearing, there are also other sensations like sounds, images; all of these appearing in the same space of Being. Therefore, it is these sensations which are enclosed in Me and not the other way around.

Satsang Game: I Will Make Statements, You Say ‘Yes’ or ‘No’

Okay, let’s play a game. I will say something, you have to say ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ with full integrity as to whether this is your direct Seeing or not. Understood? So, I will say something, you have to say ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ based on whether it is your direct Seeing or not; whether you have Seen this, whether you have assimilated this or not. [Sangha’s answers (via calling out from the room) [Yes] or [No] are in brackets]

~

This realm this realm that we call the world is constantly changing. [Yes]

These thoughts are interpreting this realm of appearances. [Yes]

The thought presumes that there is an individual entity. [Yes]

When looked for, this individual entity is not found. [Yes]

Therefore, no thought truly applies to Reality. [Yes]

Consciousness plays with a thought using the powers of attention and belief. [Yes]

Suffering is possible even if we just give attention to a thought. [No]

It is our belief in our thought which leads to our identity. [Yes]

The pretense of ‘I am a person’ is a denial of what actually IS. [Yes]

The Presence I Am is the root of all existence. [Yes]

Nothing appears without first there being this sense of Being. [Yes]

Everything, every appearance, is experienced only within myself as Beingness. [Yes]

I am aware that I exist. [Yes]

This Awareness can also be called space. [No] [Yes]

Who said ‘Yes’? And ‘No’ are how many? [Sangha raising hands]

There are no attributes to Awareness. [Yes]

And yet, the world of all attributes comes from within Itself. [Yes]

I am this unchanging Awareness. [Yes]

Even if my dynamic aspect of Being takes on the pretense of personhood, I remain untouched. [Yes]

Therefore, freedom and bondage do not apply to Me. [Yes]

I am the unmoving One. [Yes]

I am the unchanging One. [Yes]

Anything, including death, that might happen in this play does not touch what I Am. [Yes] Therefore, suffering is based on a false belief. [Yes]

In reality, I cannot suffer. [Yes] I cannot leave this reality. [Sangha] What?

A:I, what we were talking about…, this Awareness cannot leave reality. How many ‘No’s? One?

I can become unaware for some time. [No]

Within the waking state, I can stop being. [No]

I am Awareness only if I experience joy. [No] [Laughter]

If there is no experience of bliss, then I must be fooling myself. [No] [Laughter] Awareness is concerned about joy. [No] [Laughter]

The power of belief is the power to pretend. [Yes]

All conditioning is false. [Yes]

A glimpse is of the reality is enough to drop all conditioning. [No] [Yes] [Uproarious laughter] Once I’ve seen that belief is a pretense, I never believe anything ever again. [Big laughter]

If I believe a thought, then a tangible person comes into existence. [No]

The person has never existed. [Yes]

For God to pretend to be a person, It only has to believe Its next thought. [Yes] There is separate Being operating in every body. [Silence]

Being is actually fundamentally different from Awareness. [Silence]

Even Awareness is not there in sleep state. [Silence]

I need to stop thoughts from appearing. [No]

I need an awakening experience to see the truth. [No] [Yes]

If this kind of awakening experience hasn’t happened, I can’t recognize the Truth. [Yes] [No] To stay with the Truth is tiring and effortful. [Silence]

To stay with the Truth can seem effortful in the beginning. [Yes] [Laughter] It can seem like it is effort to not believe our thoughts. [Yes]

The game of not believing our thoughts was only for then. [No] [Big laughter] Some condition that we put after ‘but…’ (I am Awareness but…) can be valid. [No] In reality, there is still something left to be done. [No]

The phrase ‘It is done’ is just something we use for encouragement. [No] [Big laughter] Surrender is openness. [Yes]

Ego is resistance. [Yes]

To speak the Truth is arrogance.[Silence]

False pride is the same as false humility. [Yes]

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti

[Big laughter in the room]

Innocence, Openness, Acceptance

I heard this very nice story yesterday. Once there was a shepherd and this shepherd, he would say ‘God, if you appear to me, I will polish your shoes, I will clean your clothes’. He used to have these normal, innocent prayers. So, one day Moses came to him and heard him say these kind of prayers and Moses said ‘What are you doing? God doesn’t have shoes, he doesn’t have clothes. What kind of silly prayer is this? Stop all this! It’s rubbish’. And this shepherd then seemed to get so disillusioned. He started walking to the desert. It seemed like he lost his connection to God so he started walking toward the desert.

After some time, to Moses, God appeared and said ‘What have you done? You have taken that one away from Me. Whatever be their means to connect with Me, I am always there’.

All rivers flow into one ocean. All that is needed is this little bit of openness. If we turn for help to God in which-ever way, this urge, this openness will answer itself. There are no unanswered prayers.

So then, Moses realized his mistake and he went into the desert. He followed the footsteps of the shepherd and went to the desert and said ‘I’m really sorry, my brother. I should not have…, I was ignorant. Please forgive me’. And the shepherd said ‘What are you saying? It was very beautiful that you were strict with me in this way because it made me turn even deeper to find the reality of God’. And that is how Grace helped both of them.

Much too often we are too quick to judge another, to say ‘I have the right way. Others do not have the right way. What is he doing? What is she doing?’ But how do we really know what is going on?

I for one know nothing at all actually. Just this one here is a servant to this voice that speaks. And even in this voice, many contradictions can be found. One day we were joking and saying ‘If satsang just became like this: ‘You must do the inquiry’ / ‘You are not the doer at all’. [Chuckles] You see? There are so many contradictions you will find even in the voice of satsang, because the road is to neutrality, to not knowing anything at all. If it was just a coherent set of concepts, then you’d be quick to create a conceptual framework about it which will again just be a mental knowing. You must come to this point where you feel that ‘I don’t know anything at all; what is the right way, what is the wrong way. All I have are some of these thorns which the Master has said to use and then to throw away’.

So, can we become empty like this? No presumptions, no concepts, no right or wrong; just a simple allowing of the Satguru to work through this body.

Whatever Follows ‘But…’ is Never the Truth

We had this beautiful retreat at Chinmaya Vibhooti. And for me, it felt like ‘My work is done’. Then sure enough… [Laughter]

We were playing this game there, saying ‘I am Awareness, but…’ Or ‘I am Consciousness, but…’ It’s usually after these retreats, after this strong immersion into the Truth, that the mind comes up with the best doubts. Sometimes, it can even seem like, in our life situation the most terrible things seem to be happening. But there is never a ‘but…’ There is never, ever ‘I am Awareness, but…’ And you can never say a ‘something, but…’ which is valid. Nothing has ever happened to Awareness. Never happened.

So, if we did not have this power to believe, this power of pretense, then we would not even be able to enjoy this game like this, personally. So, if at least nothing else, know that it is a game. You have seen this, all of you, that the most Truth that can be spoken in satsang is simply ‘I am Awareness’. Ultimately even that is not conveying the Reality. But what follows the ‘but…’ is never, ever true.

And I’m not asking you to believe this. We don’t need to believe this. All we need to do is check. If I am the Witnessing, I am the one solitary witness, the one solitary witness, then what could ever have happened to Me? So, whatever is happening, if you feel that something is happening, find out who is it about? Who is it really about? Otherwise, we keep going like this; on and on. [Chuckles] Does Awareness have a story? [Silence] Then how can You have one?

And immediately the mind will come ‘but, but, but…’ [Chuckles] Then you’ll say ‘Yes, but I have a dynamic aspect. I’m not only this primal Witnessing, there’s also this dynamic aspect called Consciousness’. So, Consciousness emerges. In the play of I Am, all of this drama starts. So, who are you trying to help? God? You are resolving things for who? Who is suffering? Awareness, you said, is unconcerned; One solitary witness who stays ‘cool’ through everything. Then Consciousness comes into play.

So, all this game, all these doubts, are whose? Do they belong to Consciousness?

So, when we say that ‘This is happening to me’…, and it’s funny, that for most of us who were in the retreat, I’ve already gotten reports that ‘Something is happening with me’. This is the play. Who is this one?

What we are really saying is ‘Yes, I See, I’m Awareness. And my dynamic functioning is Consciousness. But still, can’t you help the person in some way?’ The non-existent one; we still have some allegiance towards him. And who is doing all of this? Consciousness Itself.

The point is not to make any of you feel guilty; it’s just to point out that this is the way the game plays. The magnetism, the attraction of our personal ideas seem so strong that we could be deeply immersed in the Truth for a week (experientially, not just conceptually) and yet something quickly comes back after that and says ‘But what about me?’ Who has ever been able to resolve things for this ‘me’. We feel like we’ll come to some final resolution one day. We’ll come to a final dissolution one day [Chuckles] but not a resolution.

I have seen all the things everyone has tried. Relationships we tried. Money we tried. Healthy body we tried. Search for freedom we tried. Resolved it for the ‘me’? …, the ‘me’ became satisfied, quiet, content? It just doesn’t happen. You see, that is not the programming of this voice; this mind is not programmed to be ‘done’ ever. It’s only programmed for more and more and more. It will sell you the message of ‘more and more’ sometimes saying ‘Almost there! Just, almost there!’ Or ‘Now, I’m coming to this truth of myself but if I could also just do this part, because this part gets in the way’. Of what? Of who? ‘Yes, yes, all that is okay for satsang, but my life!’ You see? Who? [Chuckles] Who will refuse to answer?

Does this mean that something must be renounced, that life must be renounced or something? No. But we can renounce the story of this false one. This idea…, not to be found in the body. The person…, not to be found in the body. We can’t surgically find this person; where is it? And it’s not to be found in Being, in Consciousness. Not to be found in the witness of all of this; this One Awareness. Not to be found in this realm outside.

The only evidence of this one is circumstantial. There are some e-mails from that one [Chuckles] and they appear in our mind; into the in-box of our mind they come. ‘Yes, yes, this is left to do. You’re not free yet. We’re almost there. We’ll get there!’ This one is just the e-mails; the circumstantial evidence for the non-existent one. And we want to clear up this in-box. [Chuckles] A lot of us have that nightmare (the corporate world especially) that the in-box doesn’t get cleared. So, we’re trying to clear this in-box. It doesn’t happen. Then it comes ‘Okay, just get to this much money, then I’ll stop sending you e-mails. I’ll be happy’. It doesn’t happen. ‘Just marry this one. No more e-mail after that’. It doesn’t happen.

I’m not even saying ‘Delete’. [Chuckles] I’m just saying ‘Don’t open’. And if you open, I’m saying ‘Don’t believe’. Because the scam-sters send you mail; win a million dollars. Earlier when they would send, people used to always call me and say ‘Is this real? Can this be real? How do you know if it’s not real? I could actually get this million dollars’. [Chuckles] No, no. Don’t believe it. Second time, somebody, some second aunt that you never knew about passed away and you have an inheritance to claim that they’re supposed to send some money. Don’t believe that. After a few scams, it’s done. But this scam-ster is so good at his job.

So, don’t open the email from the mind. And even if you open it, don’t believe it; whatever the content might be…, because you do not find the one that it is addressed to.

There is no person here. Digest this today. This is my daily imploration. [Chuckles] Can we not digest this? Because this is what we are Seeing. We are not finding this one.

Just because we have believed in an imaginary friend for so long…, does it mean that it will become our perennial affliction? It is an imaginary one!

So, give me a problem that doesn’t belong to an imaginary one. [Silence] It’s not a problem. The entire spectrum of the experiencing is not a problem for Being. It is tasting the contrasting experiences; and finding joy in that.

I told you about the exercise we did once? I went to a lot of spiritual places. In one ‘advanced’ course, there was an exercise ‘How pain can be experienced as pleasure’. It was a very simple experiment. You were asked to keep your arms up, sideways, for half an hour or 45 minutes. It would start to pain. And they said ‘You cannot put your hands down then (something there, to scare you, like) you’ll never get rid of this cycle of birth and death’ or something; whatever leverage worked. Then you start to accept this pain and you find that experientially, frequency- wise, there is not so much difference between pleasure and pain. And if you start looking at these things in the experience spectrum, this frequency spectrum, and see it’s really for that which is truly here, in acceptance of this. Even pain doesn’t seem like a problem. Of course, you don’t have to chase this kind of experience. Consciousness is creating enough for Itself.

So, we find that even this we can use, to See: Who is pain a problem for? Who is the one that says ‘Oh, my life should not have this experience; it should only have that’.

And more than physical pain, I find this pain of other things; relationships. Whose relationship? You know we have long-distance relationships sometimes.

The longest-distance relationship is with the one that we can’t even find. So, let’s break this relationship, the false relationship, and see whether other relationships can give trouble.

It’s funny that the person is not in this realm, and the Reality of who You Are is not in this realm; both are not in this realm. [Chuckles] Then how does this realm seem juicy and important? Just by giving yourself this power of belief.

We can attach to anything. Some are collecting old stamps, some are collecting…, anything, paper cups. We can attach to anything. Anything in this realm, once we start to say ‘me, mine’ and it aids our sense of special-ness, we attach to it. Cars, carpets. [Chuckles] Gadgets. You can attach to anything that appears in this realm. But not without the power of our belief. Not without the sense that there is an individual ‘me’ that exists in this realm.

There is no real ‘you’ in this universe. The universe is in You!

This Primal Knowingness Knows Existence

Q:The one that is discussing about Itself being Awareness comes and goes. How can it infer that it is something that is ever-present? That I am always present, even in deep sleep, is only an inference.

A:This is a very good question. So, let’s look at what an inference is? What is an inference? If you wake up in the morning and you find some chocolate in your beard, and you can infer ‘I must have had a midnight snack or I must have sleep walked and had this chocolate’. See? That is an inference, you deduce it. You come to a conclusion based on the evidence that you find.

But to see that ‘I woke up at this time’ or at least ‘This was the time that showed up when the waking state came; and there was sleep and there was nothing in that’. That is not an inference of this sort. It is not an inference because we don’t really know. Maybe it could have been our children who could have, just for a prank, put some chocolate in our beard or something. So we are just inferring. We don’t really know what happened.

In this case this is different, this is not an inference but it is a Knowing that ‘Yes, there was sleep and now there was waking’.

There is another way to look at this, which could mean that you are saying even to say this that ‘There was a state called sleep in which there was nothing’ I have to rely on memory. You could be saying like that. So, this is not the inference that is deductive inference but reliance on some memory of experience to be able to say that ‘This is what actually happened. Yes, this is true’.

But if we are going to be using memory for other things that we know, if we are going to be using memory for other things which have experienced in the past and we presume to know, then we can also use it in this way. Once we stop using memory and don’t refer to the past for any Knowing, then even that can be dropped. Because without that, there is not even the search for Freedom. Then we are so fresh in the moment, we are so alive right now, there is nothing to searched for or to be found.

So, if memory can be used as an ally of identity, then we also use memory to show you the reality of what you are. If memory is dropped as an ally of the identity then we don’t even need to refer to any of the states, sleep state or mediation state or dream state.

So in that way we can say ‘Yes, we infer based on memory of what was experienced’. But who is to say that the last second happened at all, or not? You cannot say.

The second aspect you were meaning as an inference could mean that which we are referring to as memory, to claim the knowing of something. As long as we are using memory for some sense of continuity, some sense of identity, then we can also use memory to dissolve this; to see what

is really being experienced when we stop relying on our memory at all. Then we won’t even have to refer to any other state which was experienced in the past.

Q:Being can be confirmed by Itself. But to call it ‘Awareness’ still seems to be an inference; an inference of this very Being, which comes and goes.

A:Yes. So it is Beingness which Itself is coming to the recognition of its Source or of its true Self. Because the Self never lost or pretended to be otherwise. So what is happening when you check ‘Am I Aware now?’ …, the question is distinct from ‘Can I stop Being?’. Isn’t it?

So the Being, ‘I Am that I Am’ is different from ‘I am Aware even that I Am’.

So what is happening? The recognition, of course, still belongs to Being; but Being recognizing its own Source. What is it made up of? And it is at this point, on this question ‘Am I Aware now?’ that you see that there is no distinction even between Awareness and Consciousness (although qualitatively they continue to play as if they are different in some way).

Q:When we say that we woke up or waking state came…, my experience does not see it coming and going, It just appears from nowhere and sees that it is here.

A:Yes, it is here in relation to it not being. So that which comes and goes; there must be a witness of that coming and going. Otherwise none of us would even have to invent a term called

‘sleep if it was not our experience’. So, there is a difference between sleep and if I was to say ‘Actually you did not go to sleep. What happened is that you came to this heaven with all the angels which were there’.

Q: But that is not my experience.

A:What was our experience? Oh, that there was nothing. So, the ‘I’ that was able to say ‘This was not the experience of the heaven and the holy gates…, even when there was nothing, there was this ‘I’ who was aware that there was nothing.

Q: The inference I was speaking about is not about memory but about it being an assumption.

A:Yes, so that we checked. It is not an assumption. Because an assumption could mean that any of us could assume that a different state could be there. But we all say that sleep is something in which there is nothing. There is an experience where there is nothing. And that is why when there is an experience of something we invented another term called ‘dream’…, ‘I had a dream of something and then I went back to sleep’. All this is speaking from the direct experience of what we have experienced. And we can only speak from direct experience, from what has been here in memory. Once we stop relying on memory then everything is just fresh and in the moment. And even fresh in the moment, you find that ‘I am Aware’…, even that ‘I Exist’. ‘I Know I Exist’. This Knowing is primal. This existence is also seen from that perspective.

If we are not relying on memory for anything, we can just check right now. What is most primal to me? This Witnessing that witnesses even the sense of Being? This Knowingness Knows Itself and Knows of existence.

So without inferences right know, without even referring to memory, what is it that we find here?

We find that there is a sense of Existing.

Who is aware of this sense of Existing?

That is ‘I’.

It is not a personal ‘I’. It is not an entity ‘I’. It is not a phenomenal ‘I’. Yet it is undeniable that I am aware of my existence.

The reporting can only happen phenomenally of course. All these of words are just part of the phenomenal play.

But the Knowing of this Existence, is that also phenomenal?

This awareness of this Existence, is that also phenomenal?

Who is aware of the phenomenal perceiving?

Many times confusion happens between the natural functioning of this Being (which is a part of that which the phenomenal perceiving is a natural part), and That which is aware even of this functioning.

Q: Without referring to memory I find that I am here. And this sense is aware of Its existence.

A: So, to say that ‘This sense is aware of Its existence’ means: I Am that I Am. I Am that I Am.

That which is aware that this sense is aware of Its existence, what can we say about that One? Is it not Known that this Being is aware of Itself?

Q:Not a person or entity, but just here. If I were to jump from ‘here’ to ‘I am Awareness or eternal’…

A: So, let’s look at both of them separately.

This Awareness…, that Being knows Itself, is this subject to the Presence even?

Is this more intimate that even Being for you?

Or is the Being most intimate?

What seems to be on the screen?

The sense existence?

Or that which Knows the sense of existence?

What seems to be appearing, the sense of existence?

Or that which knows the sense of existence?

Once this becomes clear then we can get to the eternal. Because the eternal means ‘that which is beyond time’. When you start to see that ‘time’ is a part of the functioning of this Consciousness Itself…, that which is prior to this remains untouched by the concept of time. That we can call the unborn or eternal.

Q:To me the most intimate is the Being. That which knows the sense of existence seems to be simply a thought talking about the Being.

A:Without the thoughts; just check. [Silence] Am I Aware now? And [check] whether this Awareness is a functioning of the Being (just like sight or hearing or taste or touch; these are the tools, inner perceiving). This Awareness which is aware of all this functioning of Being.

Just contemplate these questions. If you just feel ‘I am this Being aware of Itself’…, it is the end of the spiritual journey. In fact, most spiritual paths don’t have anything beyond this: ‘I Am that I Am’. It is completely fine.

Q:Without the thoughts there is just Being. This Being seems to the source of the 5 senses. But the Being Itself doesn’t seem to be something that something higher is Aware of.

A:You might one day just say that ‘Oh it was so simple. I was Aware of this Being, this Being was not Aware of me’. But even if it feels like right now that ‘It is just this Being which is aware of Itself’ there is no trouble; because ultimately there is no distinction between Being and

Awareness.

Is There a Distinction between ‘I’ and ‘Am’?

Q:Father, I find it confusing to say ‘Being Knows of Its Beingness’. I cannot say this is my experience here.

A:Actually, just to say ‘I Am’ is This. You see? Just to say ‘I Am’ is the Knowing that I Am.

Q:But it’s Awareness that Knows. It’s just only Awareness that Knows of Beingness.

A:Awareness Knows of Beingness, yes. Now, this Beingness…, right now if I were to say: Do you exist? Or no?

Q: Of course. Yeah.

A:So, this is it. The Beingness also Knows of Its own existence.

Q:Is it really like this? Can you really say it like it?

A:At these points we see that there is really no distinction between Knowing and Being. They are moving in lock-step. When we say ‘I Am’ what voice are we speaking from? The voice of

Beingness.

When we say ‘I am aware of I Am’ then we are speaking as the Ultimate, the Absolute Awareness. But actually it is ‘I Am’. There is no distinction between ‘I’ and ‘Am’.

Q: No, that’s right. That’s exactly the point. There is no distinction.

A:And who is coming to this recognition? Is Awareness coming to this recognition?

Q:No. Beingness, the Consciousness.

A:So, this recognition is that.

Q:Oh, okay. Now I got it. [Laughing] Thank you.

The Invitation is to See Who Witnesses All of This

Can anyone say that they are not Witnessing? Can we say that we are not the final Witness, from our experience? Even if we conceptualize, even if we go to our mind, to our imagination, about things, who is witnessing all of that? Our own existence; who witnesses that?

So, it is so simple. It is already Known. This whole game has been about trying to make something phenomenal from this no-thing (non-phenomenal). How to get attached to the non- phenomenal? Who would get attached to the non-phenomenal?

For this game of attachment and detachment to happen there needs to be first this game of phenomena. And now what you are discovering about yourself, what you are finding about yourself, is that in reality you are not phenomenal.

This is the discovery of the Self. Not as a ‘thing’. As this non-thing. Can the mind help with this? No. The mind cannot conceptualize, visualize or even reason non-phenomenally. Can you conceptualize or visualize something which is not phenomena? No. Even then you will try to create some space; it is not even space, it is not even a void. This is what You Are. And in this discovery, why does it seem destructive? It seems destructive only because we have these attachments to phenomena. So, all the false that has been attached to is being let go of.

Now does this mean that fundamentally something changes? Someone was saying ‘Why does Awareness need to come to this recognition?’ Awareness doesn’t! It has always been the unmoving, unchanging. It is not affected by this play in any way. Not affected by this play in anyway; Your True Self. That is why in A Course in Miracles it is says:

Nothing real can be threatened.

Nothing unreal exists.

Herein lies the peace of God’.

So, either laughingly or with tears or in a very sober way, one way or another, our attachments are being squeezed out of us. Because this is what our urge is. Free and attached doesn’t go together. We can either be free or we are attached. You see? So, these final attachments (even the ideas of finality actually) anything that we feel that we know conceptually is a false attachment. Can we deal with absolutes like this sometimes? Everything we feel that we know conceptually, intellectually is just a condition. It is an attachment. Can we be empty of these? Is it okay not to know what is happening to me? If you did not know at all whether you are bound or free, what you are looking for, what you want, what your state is; if you dropped all of this ‘knowing’ would you stop being the Awareness? Would your existence cease?

You see, the mind uses this trick. It is the fear of death, that ‘If I stop knowing then who is to will run this life? And even worse will I cease to exist? Because it feels like I am falling; I am

falling into a dark pit of nothingness’. [Laughter] These visuals it can give you sometimes. It is not like that.

This no-thingness cannot rise or fall. It has no attributes. It is the simple Knowingness Itself. The Witnessing itself. This you Are. This cannot be changed. That which You Are is what You Are. But what you pretend to be, what you want to play as (starting with the play of Consciousness Itself) is completely up to You-as-Consciousness.

So, is it important that you get your Freedom now? From one perspective, we say it like that. But from another perspective, not at all; it doesn’t matter actually. Because that which You truly Are can never be bound. That which is choosing to play is God Himself or Herself and God will play as long as God wants to play. As part of the play sometimes it inserts these characters sitting on the chair telling you ‘You are not this, You are not this’. It’s all part of the same play.

So, one day Consciousness will say ‘Yes, I am done with this stuff, and all of these thoughts, they don’t apply to me, they are not about me’. You look at you self, your body, your identity and say ‘What is all this about? Whose hands are these? Whose hands are these? Whose thoughts are these? What is my connection with any of this? That witness which Sees these hands, which Sees these thoughts, which Sees these sensations, which Sees even the sense of existence…, what is the connection with It and these thoughts?’

When we start to find ourselves in this way, this is so freeing! How would you like to be un-hurt- able? We are attracted to these ideas of invincibility, but You are That. Can you hurt time and space? Can you hurt gravity, electricity, light? So, if the children of Consciousness Itself cannot be hurt (these fundamental ‘toys’) how can the origin of Consciousness be hurt? And we are not speaking of some fantasy land. This is what You Are Right Now. This is what You are Right Now.

So, what if I was to stop buying your presumption about yourself. What if you were to stop buying your presumption about yourself? Can we meet truly as we Are? Because without a conclusion, without a presumption, without the ideas, the pretense drops. And this Oneness that we are trying to get outwardly is Seen to be the changing, unmoving non-separation.

And all of you that are here with some openness. Openness means what? Openness only means just having a window open, that all of this being shared here could be true. You don’t have to accept every word. But just accept the possibility that what is being shared here could be true. Why? Because once you accept the possibility, then you’re open to checking.

If you are not at all open to the possibility that the sun could come from the East, if you are so convinced that the sun comes from the West, then you will not check. So, if you are open to the possibility, it makes us open to checking: What am I truly? Stay with this checking: What is it that you are finding?

And if I was to give you tips (as a joke, of course) [Laughter] I would say ‘Don’t be so quick to revert back to the habit. Stay with what you find when you check’. We are too quick to say ‘But, but, but…’

‘But what happens when we’re outside Satsang?’ Nothing happens.

You are still Awareness!

‘Why do I get caught?’ You don’t.

You are still Awareness.

‘Why don’t I feel like Awareness?’ Because it is not a feeling.

‘But this mind just doesn’t stop!’ It doesn’t have to.

We cannot be a ‘but…’ after ‘I’. Can we become that clear? We are Consciousness itself.

But in Consciousness recognizing its Source, what it is actually made up of, it will find Itself to be unconcerned with this entire play. Here there is no distinction between this play of Consciousness and That which witnesses this play of Consciousness. Whatever is the drama, it is witnessed, isn’t it? Whatever is the drama of our life, it is being witnessed. So can we step back and look whether that Witnessing, whether that Awareness, is really participating in the drama in any way? NOW we can check this. The drama will try to pull you in, pull your attention in, but being in satsang for so long, we must be able to now see that this Awareness remains untouched. That is why it is un-threatened.

What will resist our interest in trying to get something personal out of this? Our interest in some idea of freedom (what it might be) might resist this simple looking. But it is this resistance which will start to seem absurd after some time. Because what is the invitation for? It is just to See who witnesses all of this? Who is That One?

The Ego is Just a Belief

Q:Father I wanted to know, if the Master is also an illusion? I mean a dream. Something that is appearing in the dream.

A:Master also an illusion, [Chuckles] So, if you call the rest of this appearance an illusion, then the Master is also an illusion. You see? Now what is the difference then between the Master and the rest of the illusion? The rest of the illusion operates mostly as if it is a distraction to increase our idea that ‘I am this person’. It is the Masters which are pointing you to this reality that you are not a person at all. So, in this play, in this realm of maya, everything is an illusion; but it seems like the purpose of most of the illusion is to distract you from your real truth and that is why the Master appears. Then he points you and says ‘Who are you in reality?’ So, I would say that although the Master also is an illusion ultimately; it is the most auspicious part of the illusion (at least that`s how it was experienced here). It is like everything else; the outward appearance of the Master is also an illusion but it is the most auspicious illusion that appears because it takes us away from the illusory forms, to the real essence of who we are. And then you start to recognize that the Master is not this outer body at all. The true Master is your own Presence, your own Being. So, the purpose of the Master (outer Master) is to point you to this ‘inner Master’.

In my experience (in my living experience) I’ve not met anyone (including the ones who say that no master is needed) who has found the truth of who they are without the living Presence of a Master. Of course, you hear about them in stories and mythology and history but I have not come across one who has awakened to the Truth of who they are without the support of a living Master. [Silence]

It is more important for you to ask whether ‘you’ is an illusion. [Silence] Are ‘you’ an illusion?

Q: Not in my direct experience, Father.

A:Not your direct experience that ‘you’ are an illusion. Then is your direct experience that this ‘you’ is real?

Q: Yeah.

A:Then you must be able to show me this ‘you’ Where is she? [Silence]

Q: I can´t do that.

A: But why? If she is real she must be here, no? [Silence]

So, my submission to you is that you must inquire into this idea; the reality of ‘Who I am’. Let’s clarify that before we can decide on the reality or unreality of external things. [Silence]

Q:Father, when you say ‘Everything is an illusion’ sometimes I feel ‘Oh, yeah, I am free’. I feel good about it. ‘Okay, I am free since everything is an illusion’. But sometimes it feels ‘Oh, what is the point of doing something because it´s all just a dream; it´s not real’.

A:That´s what I am saying; before we can come to a conclusion about what the world is, we must come to the Seeing of what ‘I Am’. You see?

Am I part of the dream?

Am I part of the appearance?

Am I something which is coming and going?

And if I am also coming and going, who is there to see this coming and going?

What I am saying is very simple, actually. Are you something that comes and goes or are you a constant?

Q: Father, as long the ‘me’ is there, it’s very difficult to answer actually.

A:[Chuckles] A ‘me’ is there right now? Where is it?

Q:There is a ‘me’ who is doing all the talking.

A:[Chuckles] You know this? Or you are just presuming? Or maybe you heard it somewhere recently and you feel like ‘Oh, this is all the ‘me’. The ‘me’ is doing all of this’. If the ‘me’ could do something it would have some tangibility, it would have some existence. The ‘me’ is just an idea; the ego is just a belief. There is no tangible existence of it. If we had to destroy this ‘me’ like a tangible one, then we would have to wage war on it; we would have to kill it. We don´t have to do any of that.

To see that it is unreal is the dissolution of the ‘me’. The ‘me’ cannot do anything because the ‘me’ does not exist; it´s just a belief. And this ‘me’ you cannot find. Can you find the ‘me’ that is the doer? [Silence]

And as long as you believe that there is a ‘me’ (there is an ‘I’) that is the doer then you will also experience this sense of suffering; because suffering is the result of this false belief and the existence of a separate doer, a separate experiencer.

Don´t buy any idea unless you can verify it for yourself. [Silence] Introduce this ‘me’. Let’s see this one. Let’s ask this one why does it do certain things, why is it bound. Let’s introduce this one. Where is it? [Silence]

When we cannot even find this one, how do you know the ‘me’ is doing the cooking (or whatever you say)? The non-existent one just appears to do the cooking. Isn´t it? That´s a nice solution to being tired. [Chuckles] Right now, what is here? Is that an individual?

Q: There is an ‘I’.

A:Yes. This ‘I’ is which one? Which ‘I’ is this one? Does it have the name which you call yourself? This ‘I’? [Silence]

What is here now? Is there a sense of existence that is here? Is there a sense of existence? Or no?

Q: Yes, there is.

A:A sense of existence is there. Now, this sense of existence is you? Or is the one that is aware of this sense of existence also, is that one you?

Q: The one that is aware of the sense of existence also is me.

A:This one is you. Okay. Now, this you…, this one that is aware of the sense of existence, what does this one want? Is this one bound or free?

Q: I feel it´s bound.

A:You feel it´s bound? Or you See it´s bound?

Q:I see it.

A:You see that the ‘I’ which is aware of your sense of existence; that is bound?

Q:Yes.

A:Bound by what? What can bind it?

Q:Attachments.

A:But this one that is even aware of the sense of existence, does that have an attachment? What is this Awareness attached to? [Silence]

Q: It´s attached to external things, people …

A:How is it attached to them? [Silence] Take one external thing and show me how Awareness is attached to that external thing?

Q: Okay, for example, my family.

A:Yes. Right now, how is Awareness attached to your family?

Q:I don´t know how, but I am attached to my family I feel.

A:‘I am attached’. So, you say: This ‘I’ now which is attached to the family is the same Awareness?

Q: I only know I’m attached. I don´t know of any awareness which is not attached.

A:Right now, what is the most direct, most clear idea or the most direct seeing that you have about who you really are? Who are you really? Who are you?

Q: A witness.

A:A witness to all appearances.

Q:Yes.

A:Yes. Now, look for this witness. Look at this witness and see if it has any attribute. Does this witness have a color?

Q: No, it´s formless.

A:Okay, now this formless one; check and see. Is it possible for something that is formless to get attached to something? [Silence] Why is the formless concerned about form now? If Itself it is formless, what does it get from form? [Silence]

Okay, now I am just seeing some family photographs. Is that the witnessing trying to show me their attachments? [She moves her computer camera to show family photographs on the wall, and disappears from the screen] [Chuckles] She also became formless. I don´t see her anymore.

Q: [Chuckles] What is it that is binding me to the family?

A:You have to tell me. I am saying that there is no bondage. If you really see that you are This Formless One (unless you are visualizing or doing some creative imagination) if you really find yourself to be This One that is formless, it will be so obvious to you that the Formless One cannot be bound by anything at all. The only bondage has been this presumed, this pretended bondage of believing some idea, concept. But in the light of your Seeing all these ideas, they dissolve. I am not saying that you are bound. You are saying that ‘I am bound’. I am saying

‘Show me where the bondage is?’ So, either you are visualizing this Awareness…

Q: Yes, probably, yeah. It´s a concept for me.

A:Maybe it´s just a concept. But find out: Who is also aware of this? Who is aware of this visual? If your mind is painting some dark space and saying ‘Yes, this is Awareness. This is the one Witness’. Check: Who witnesses even that?

You see, now two things can happen; when I ask you to check two things can happen. The first thing that can happen is that you may actually check; simply, openly just check, and find that this witnessing is formless and yet it is ‘I’. This is the first thing that can happen.

The second thing that can happen is the mind can feel so tired with this inquiry; it is ready to latch on to some conceptual idea of the Truth. Just to be free from the seeming suffering of the seeker itself we can go to a conceptual framework which seems like ‘Yes, this answers all of my questions. I am finding some peace in this’. But that is not a lasting peace; it is just the temporary relief from the questions. You see? And then again, when any conceptual idea that we´ve picked up doesn´t work because it is not verifiable, it is not our living experience. Then ultimately we´ll come …

Q: Father, how can I see the formless while the ego is there?

A:The ego is not there. That´s what I am saying. The ego is just a belief. If you believe yourself to be in Timbuktu right now; just because the belief is there, will you feel like ‘I am actually there in Timbuktu?’ Is that real; your presence in Timbuktu? No. Just in the same way, we believe ourselves to be a person. It doesn´t mean the person is actually there. You see? There is no way to kill the person because the person does not exist. If you keep reinforcing ‘The ‘me’ is there, the ego is there. It is the ‘me’ that is doing this’…, we are giving reality to that which does not exist. If the ‘me’ was actually present in any form here, then we would all be helpless to the ‘me’. The dissolution is only the dissolution of the idea of ‘me’.

And every day in satsang I say that this idea of ‘me’, this idea of the ego, is only reinforced by our belief in our thoughts. And what do we do? We still continue to believe our thoughts and then say `Why is the ‘me’ not going?’

Without believing your thought, do you have any trouble? Nobody does; no matter how real our troubles might seem when we are caught up in the belief with our thoughts. If you just see that the ‘I’ that is suffering is only a belief. The ‘I’ that is the individual doer is only a concept. The ‘I’ that is the individual experiencer is just an idea I have.

The ego cannot get rid of the ego. What does this mean? Because the non-existent cannot do anything at all. Therefore You that is here, this Consciousness, must be able to see that there is no individual ‘me’ right now. That is what the pointing is for.

Who wants to be rid of the ego? Can you find that one? [Silence] There is one that is the ego and there is one that wants to be rid of the ego. So, are there two of you inside?

Q: No, there is only one.

A:This one is which one? If this one was the ego …, there is only ‘one’ you say and then you might say ‘This one is the ego.’ Then will the ego say the ego must go? Why the ego want its own death? Who is this one? Does the ‘me’ say ‘The ‘me’ is the problem?’

Q: Father, it´s the ego only.

A:[Laughing] Then why would the ego want to be rid of the ego? If the ego is here and it is the only one here, why will it say ‘Okay, okay, I don´t want to be here’? Why would the ego want its own demise?

Q: Because it knows that its own demise will bring bliss.

A:But for who? Ego is the only one here. Once it is ‘dead’ then everything is over. No? Who will experience the bliss?

Q: But Father, is it possible to live without the idea of ‘me’?

A:Yes. That´s what we are saying. But if all there is is the ego there then how is it possible to live without the idea of ‘me’. That is the only thing that is there? The urge for this Truth (which is beyond the ego) cannot be the ego itself.

The urge for freedom rises for who? Why would the ego want its own demise?

And if the ego dies then who will experience the bliss of this freedom?

If all that you are is the ego. Then there is no concept of freedom from this because it is all that you are. Then what are you looking for really?

You must be finding that there is something which is prior to this ego. ‘I want to be rid of this ego’…, to remain as That which is prior to this ego. [Silence]

So, my advice to you is: Don´t label anything as anything. Just see for Yourself: What is going on here? You might find that this world of phenomenal appearances is playing, yet there is a Witnessing of it which remains untouched by it. And you can only find this through direct experience, direct checking. [Silence]

Are you tired of the inquiry?

Q: Kind of, Father.

A:That´s what happens. So, when you become tired of the inquiry, it is the mind which is saying that ‘This is not getting me anywhere. It is so frustrating because the ‘me’ is still here’. You see?

And then what will happen is that this tiredness can allow you to let go of this mind. Or you will latch on to some set of ideas which will say ‘Oh, inquiry is not needed now’. It will sound like a lot of truth but if the Truth is what is been pointed to, it cannot be resisted. The looking at what I really am cannot truly be resisted. So, if you find yourself buying this resistance to the inquiry, know that you are believing something which is just conceptual and it might even give you some idea of relief, but you will not find this lasting contentment which comes only with the discovery of the Self.

What is tiring about the inquiry that you are so tired?

Q: Father, not getting an answer.

A:Yes. So, you find that the inquiry does not have a verbal answer. It does not necessarily lead to some experience also. It brings you to that ‘I’ which is not intellectual, which is not verbalized; that ‘I’ which is prior to phenomena.

I have broken the inquiry down to very, very simple steps. I have said first ask yourself: ‘Can you stop being now?’ Then you see that this Beingness is here.

Then you can check: ‘Am I Aware now?’ And you find that the answer is ‘Yes, but I do not find this Awareness as a phenomena, yet I know of the existence of this Awareness’. This ‘I’ is which one? Then you will find that it is This Witnessing Itself.

Q:Father, does awakening happen on its own? Or does it depend on my practicing of the inquiry?

A:As long as there is the sense of a ‘me’, as long as there is the sense that ‘I have some choice, I can do something at all’ …, because very conveniently sometimes…, in Advaita we are given this concept that ‘Yes, Awakening will happen on its own’. But then we must also see that everything is happening on its own. If you are able to see that everything is happening on its own, then there will be no sense of control, no sense of ownership, doership. And without this sense of doership, the ego itself cannot survive; because this is surrender. So, if you see that everything is happening on its own then there is no concern about anything at all. That is Karma-

Yoga; you see that ‘Everything is just happening. I have no attachment to the outcome’. But what can happen sometimes in Advaita is that you say ‘Oh, Awakening has to happen on its own. I must not do anything for it’. But the not-doing is also doership.

So, is your question ‘Everything is happening on its own?’ or ‘Only Awakening is happening on its own?’

Q: Awakening happening on its own.

A:So, if Awakening must happen on its own, then the rest of your life cannot be run on its own? [Silence] Why must Awakening happen on its own? [Silence]

If there is a separate ‘you’…, if there is a ‘me’ and there is a God (but you are separate) then how will God make it happen for you? You are separate, no? The Awakening only means to see that there is no separation. Then you say that ‘Everything is happening with God´s Grace’. [Silence]

You logged on to satsang today? Did it happen on its own or you logged on?

Q: I logged on.

A:You logged on. You are speaking these words. Are they happening on their own? Or you are speaking them?

Q: Father, I am getting confused.

A:[Chuckles] No, you must answer with integrity. Because I feel that somewhere you are buying some concepts which are not living up to the integrity of what you are Seeing. You are Seeing. So, if you are finding that ‘I am the doer. I am logging on to the hangout. I am speaking these words. But Awakening? That should happen on its own!’ So, either we see that ‘Everything is happening on its own; and even if the Awakening has to happen that will happen on its own’…, or if I still feel like ‘I am logging into hangout, I am speaking these words’ then ‘I can very well do the inquiry’. [Silence]

When the sense of doer itself is gone and you see that everything is happening on its own then you´ll say that ‘Even the inquiry must happen on its own’. But as, Bhagavan [Ramana Maharshi] said ‘As long as there is a sense of an inquirer or a doer, then we must do the inquiry’. Otherwise you´ll create this mere dichotomy, which will say ‘Okay, Awakening must happen on its own but all the rest of the things which are being done are done by me. Only Awakening must happen on its own’. Can that be reality; that only Awakening happens on its own and everything else you have to do?

Q: No.

A:Cannot be. So, you´ll come to this point where you see that ‘All is happening on its own’. Then your question will become ‘Oh, all is just happening on its own. There is no individual doer, is there?’

But the minute you say ‘Oh, Awakening has to happen on its own. Should I still do the inquiry?’ already conveys to me that you are still believing yourself to be the doer of the inquiry; but you are buying a concept from somewhere that ‘the inquiry should not be done because Awakening

will happen on its own’. This is the misuse of Advaita. Either we see that everything is happening on its own, or we find out who we are. Cannot be conveniently only for Awakening; that ‘Oh, it must happen on its own but in the rest of my life I believe that I am the doer of all my actions and the experiencer of all that happens because of those actions’.

Q:Okay. Is it like that; that ‘I am doing it’ but it has to happen that way?

A:Happen which way; what way?

Q:The way it is happening. I mean that it´s predestined.

A:Okay. If the outcome of your doing is predestined, isn´t what you are doing now a result of what you did 5 minutes ago, 10 minutes ago? You first open the computer and at the outcome of that is predestined, then whether the hangout came or not is predestined, then whether you logged in to the hangout or not is predestined. So, it cannot be 50/50. You see? You must either see that everything is just happening on its own (including the movement of our hands, the movement of our mouths, the movement of our feet, all actions) …, either we see that everything is happening on its own and therefore predestined or we see that ‘I still have the sense that I am the individual doer of something’. And if I still have the sense that ‘I am the individual doer of something’ what the great sages said we must do? We must inquire into who we are.

So, if you see that everything is happening on its own, that is surrender. If you still find that ‘I am still an individual doer’ then do the inquiry.

Q:Okay Father, thank you.

A:Thank you.

I Am Revealed As Awareness Alone

Ashtavakra Gita [2.18-2.20]

We’re at verse 18 of Chapter 2 in the Ashtavakra Gita. And the chapter is about the joy of Self- Realization. [2.18] Janaka says ‘I am neither free nor bound. The illusion of such things has fallen into disbelief.’

This is what we discussed today. To see that for the reality of what I am, we cannot say any attribute; free or bound. It is the illusion of this bondage and the freedom from it. The illusion of it has just fallen into disbelief. It’s very important. Disbelief means that it could still try to be sold to us that you are free now, you are bound. Some concept can come, but this is no longer believed in. Why? Because directly we have seen our Self to be That which cannot be bound. And That which cannot be bound, the concept of freedom does not apply to That One.

So, in this is the beautiful pointer that ‘Allow everything that presumes that you are this entity (which itself implies bondage, you see? Because entity implies ‘limited’ and this limited limitation is our idea of bondage) so this presumption of the entity must be allowed to fall into disbelief. Exactly what we are saying in satsang: Don’t believe your thoughts. Because it is only our thoughts which are telling us we are limited, we are an entity, we are separate, we are bound, we need freedom. All of these ideas come only if the presumed entity, the presumed ‘me’ is given belief. So, Janaka says ‘The illusion of such things has fallen into disbelief’.

Then he says ‘Though I contain creation, it has no substance’. What does this mean? ‘Though I contain creation, it has no substance’ means it has no fundamental reality. Because the real must be that which is unchanging. I contain something; where does it go when it is not there? It goes back into This. So, Consciousness appears and Consciousness disappears. From what? From this Awareness Itself. Therefore, what must I be fundamentally, in which Consciousness appears and disappears? I must be this Awareness; whether Consciousness appears as an aspect of Myself or not. I remain this unchanging Awareness. So, when the sage Janaka now says ‘Though I contain creation, it has no substance’ it means it is not separate from the reality of what I Am. It is fundamentally still Awareness Itself. There is no separation that ever happened.

[2.19] Janaka says: ‘Having seen for certain that this universe and body is without form or substance, I am revealed as Awareness alone. Imagination has no place here’.

Same thing. ‘Having seen for certain that this universe and body is without form or substance…’ implying that it is not separate from the reality of what I Am, although in its qualitative play, it can seem like it is real. I see the dissolution and the creation of this realm, and that light from which this realm comes, which is Consciousness Itself.

Then ‘I am revealed as Awareness alone’. Because it is Seen that this Consciousness is nothing but this Awareness Itself. That which comes from ‘I’ and dissolves back into ‘I’ must be ‘I’

alone. That which comes from Awareness and dissolves back into Awareness must be made up of, and continuing to be, Awareness alone. Therefore ‘I am revealed as Awareness alone’.

‘Imagination has no place here’. We find that this play of Consciousness, this world of appearances…, this is what I say about the two A’s. The big ‘A’ Awareness and the small ‘a’ of appearance. When I See that I am this Awareness alone, I find that that this imagery of appearances have no place in the reality of what I Am. It is just another coming and going. So, the sage is sharing his revelations from that place of True Seeing where the play of light and sound, time and space, starts to lose its value, its meaning, and has no place, no relevance, in the reality of Awareness.

[2.20] Janaka says: ‘The body exists only in imagination, as do heaven and hell, bondage, freedom, fear. Are these my concern? I, who am pure Awareness?’

So, we discussed this. And maybe you can take this on, to contemplate this. ‘The body exists only in imagination, as do heaven and hell, bondage, freedom, fear. Are these my concern? I, who am pure Awareness?’

So, sometimes, just allow these words. All of you have this text now. Just allow a simple, natural contemplation to happen on all of this, without rushing to any conclusions. And then they will reveal their beauty on their own.

If you’re in a rush to understand or to counter in some way, then they are lost; then you’re just making concepts out of them. So, use them as thorns to remove all our concepts; allow this as medicine to do its work. And then, after it has marinated for some time, then reveal what it is unfolding for you. My feeling is that you’ll find that the words of the sages are not at all different from your direct insights.

~ ~ ~

books by ananta

ARE YOU AWARE NOW

March 19, 2016

Based on a series of talks given by Ananta between April to August 2014. “You are always the Awareness itself, and as Awareness you know that all that is appearing in front of you is just an appearance. There is no one here besides You. All appearances are a play of Consciousness. You stay as the Awareness itself. Once the one that wants to help vanishes, then pure grace and help will flow from You, from your Being itself. Do not get confused, my beloveds. This is all for your own good, for your own freedom. There is only You. You are all there is. All emerges from your own Being. And the way to bless the entire Being is to find your complete freedom.”

CAN YOU STOP BEING

March 19, 2016

Can You Stop Being consists of excerpts taken from some of Ananta's earliest Satsang's between August to October, 2014. “Ask yourself right now: Can I stop being now? In this question you will see that there is a Being here; your own Presence, which cannot be stopped. This Being is not a man or a woman, it is just Being. Irrespective of what happens in the story of this life, this Being is unaffected, unchanged, untouched Consciousness. Prior to I am a person, I am a man, I am a partner, I am a parent, I am a child, prior to all of this: ‘I Am’.

DONT BELIEVE YOUR NEXT THOUGHT

March 19, 2016

This book is a selection of Satsang dialogues that took place between Novemmeber 2014 to October 2015. “Although it can sound simple, almost trivial, but to not believe our next thought is to experience the freedom, the non-resistive, non-suffering state, right now. You cannot suffer without buying your next thought. Even if you believed all your previous thoughts, this fresh moment is so beautiful and powerful that all prior conditioning has dissolved already unless we pick up the tree of conditioning again by pulling at the branch of the next thought.”

AWARENESS ITSELF IS AWARE OF AWARENESS

April 1, 2016

This book is a selection of satang dialogues that took place between January and February, 2016. “You see, the Knowing is always Knowing. Awareness is always Aware, and This is always 'I'. So although Being is coming to a realization of its Source, The 'I' has always been 'I' . Even in the playing of ‘I’ as ‘I Am’, ‘I’ has remained as ‘I’.”

BEYOND ALL CONCEPTS

May 24, 2016

This book is a selection of satang dialogues that took place between March and May, 2016. “That’s why I say that ‘You are free now’. What does that mean? As Awareness you are free. But the advice is ‘Keep coming to satsang’. For who? For the Beingness. There is nothing here for the person. You see? So Consciousness in this monologue is saying to Itself: ‘Hey, buddy, you know, it’s good, what we’ve walked together so far, but let’s just keep at it’. You know? That’s the real monologue that God is having with Itself. It’s all part of the game.”

FREEDOM IS NOW

July 13, 2016

This book is a compilation of short, poignant talks taken from online Satsangs with Ananta between 19th May to 11th July 2016. It is not the recognition which is difficult. More difficult is to give up our stories. But That which You Are, (and you’re recognizing it now), cannot have a story. That which is not phenomenal cannot have a story. That within which all phenomenon is born and dissolves cannot have a story. You Are This.

WHO IS AWARE OF AWARENESS

August 26, 2016

Based on a series of talks given by Ananta in July and August 2016. “Can it be that all the wise ones were fooling us with their imploration ‘Know Thyself’ just so that one day we would come to this conclusion that ‘The Truth about the Self is unknowable’? The Realization of the Self is completely possible! The Self is completely Knowable! But not in the way we think. Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi's repeated advice to inquire ‘Who Am I?’ and Nisargadatta Maharaj's guidance to stay with the sense ‘I Am’ was not so that one day they could say ‘Fooled you!’ There is a big clue in the phrase ‘Know Thyself’. The clue is to look at this Knowing itself.”

MEET ME HERE WHERE WE ARE ONE

November 16, 2016

This is the 8th book of Ananta Satsang talks, taken from online satsangs from 5th September to 19th October 2016. Meet me here where we are One. Meet me here where the universe is just a tiny firefly. Meet me here before time and space. Meet me where meeting Me is to meet Yourself.

THE GREATEST GIFT

December 28, 2016

This book contains simple pointings, contemplations, guided inquiry and powerful discussions from online satsangs between 26th Oct. to 15th Dec. 2016. “I feel [this] is the gist of what has been shared from here over the years; the gist of what Advaita Vedanta really is trying to convey. It has been a great gift in this life here. Meeting all of you also has been the greatest gift that my Master has given. I have so much gratitude in my Heart for all of you. Thank you for being this beautiful Sangha, my beautiful friends and family. May we all never forget the beautiful grace we have all had in our lives to have the opportunity to be at the feet of Satguru Sri Moojiji.”

THIS SIMPLE SEEING

October 24, 2017

Based on a series of talks from Satsang with Ananta, April through September 2017." What witnesses everything and Itself remains unchanging? This one sentence is more than enough, actually." "Satsang is nothing but these two aspects, which are completely inter-linked: What is it that I truly Am? and the dissolution of the belief in this idea of limitation."

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