Teachings that align with the spirit of the Enlightenment Intensive.
from I Am That
Realize that no ideas are your own, they all come to you from outside. You must think it all out for yourself, become yourself the object of your meditation. The effort to understand yourself is Yoga. Be a Yogi, give your life to it, brood, wonder, search, till you come to the root of error and to the truth beyond the error.
Q: In meditation, who meditates, the person or the witness?
M: Meditation is a deliberate attempt to pierce into the higher states of consciousness and finally go beyond it. The art of meditation is the art of shifting the focus of attention to ever subtler levels, without losing one’s grip on the levels left behind. One begins with the lowest levels: social circumstances, customs, and habits; physical surroundings, the posture and the breathing of the body; the senses, their sensations and perceptions; the mind, its thoughts and feelings; until the entire mechanism, of personality is grasped and firmly held. The final state of meditation is reached when the sense of identity goes beyond the ‘I-am-so-and-so’, beyond ‘so-I-am’, beyond ‘I-am-the-witness-only’, beyond ’there-is’, beyond all ideas into the impersonally personal pure being. But you must be energetic when you take to meditation. It is definitely not a part time occupation. Limit your interests and activities…. save all your energies and time for breaking the wall your mind has built around you. Believe me you will not regret it.
Q: How do I come to know that my experience is universal?
M: At the end of your meditation all is known directly, no proofs whatsoever are required. Just as every drop of the ocean carries the taste of the ocean, so does every moment carry the taste of eternity. Definitions and descriptions have their place as useful incentives for further search, but you must go beyond them into what is undefinable and indescribable, except in negative terms.
After all, even universality and eternity are mere concepts, the opposites of being place and time-bound. Reality is not a concept, nor the manifestation of a concept. It has nothing to do with concepts. Concern yourself with your mind, remove its distortions and impurities. Once you have had the taste of your own self, you will find it everywhere and at all times. Therefore, it is so important that you should come to it. Once you know it, you will never loose it.
But you must give yourself the opportunity through intensive even arduous, meditation.
Q: What exactly do you want me to do.
M: Give your heart and mind to brooding over the ‘I am’. What is it, how is it, what is its source, its life, its meaning. It is very much like digging a well, You reject all that is not water, till you reach the life-giving spring.
… You are perfect only you don’t know it. Learn to know yourself and you will discover wonders.
All you need is already within you, only you must approach your self with reverence and love. Self-condemnation and self distrust are grievous errors.”
Charles Berner/ Yogeshwar Muni.
from The Transmission of Truth
The most powerful means to dissolve the mind is through communication because the mind is the suspension of attempted communications which were not fully communicated between individuals. When the things in the mind are communicated they dissolve and vanish out of the mind to the degree that they are received and understood by another individual. This is the crux of this technique….
So, when one is being open to whatever may occur in the mind, one is not trying to put something there to work with. Being open tends to move the mind away. When something does occur in the mind, then you have the participant communicate that to her partner, and when it is understood by her partner that part of the mind which is in the forefront of consciousness will dissolve away because it has been received. Her in-basket has been read. Now she can throw the paper away because the other person understands, he’s gotten the message. Since who one is, is constantly being brought to mind by the question itself, that part of the mind having to do with who one is will not move away. Since part of the mind is filled with thoughts of who one is, that part does not separate from the field of consciousness. In this technique it is communicated to the partner, dissolved out of existence, and then that part of the mind is pure and clean. Then, any time one intends to directly experience who she is, the part of the mind related to who she is comes in and is empty because that’s what has been previously brought up and communicated and there isn’t anything left to bring up any more. Eventually, it’s all communicated out and you have a blank mind on the subject of who you are. This is not enlightenment. But we’ve set up the situation in which enlightenment can very likely occur because the mind is blank with regard to who you are. In this situation one can just intend to directly experience who one actually is and the mind is not interposing itself by putting ideas, memories, conclusions, beliefs, traumas and other things into one’s consciousness. The only thing left is one’s self. …
The participant is now in the optimum situation in which if they actually di experience who they are it will be a direct experience because there is no longer any imposition of the mind. …When the experience comes, it is self evident, so when people are set into the technique and they are intending to experience who they are directly and finally the mind is gone, you have reached a very nice place. At this point, all you have to do as a master is keep them there and sooner or later they will directly experience who they are. In the end, enlightenment is not a willful thing. It is a spontaneous event, You cannot make it happen. All you can do is set up the situation in which the probability is maximized, And the Enlightenment Technique is designed to to that and it does it.
From Be As You Are The Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi, David Godman editor
Q: When a man realizes the Self, what will he see?
A: There is no seeing. Seeing is only being. The state of Self – Realization, as we call it, is not attaining something new or reaching some goal which is far away, but simply being that which you always are and which you always have been. All that is needed is that you give up your realization of the not-true as true. All of us are regarding as real that which is not real. We have only to give up this practice on our part,. Then we shall realize the Self as the Self; in other words, “be the Self”. At one stage you will laugh at yourself for trying to discover the Self,which is so self-evident. So, what can we say to this question?
That stage transcends the seer and the seen. There is no seer there to see anything. The seer who is seeing all this now ceases to exist and the Self alone remains.
From The Essential Rumi Coleman Barks with John Moyne
Who Says Words with my Mouth?
All day I think about it, then at night I say it.
Where did I come from, and what am I supposed to be doing?
I have no idea.
My soul is from elsewhere, I’m sure of that,
and I intend to end up there.
This drunkenness began in some other Tavern.
When I get back around to that place,
I’ll be completely sober. Meanwhile,
I’m like a bird from another continent, sitting in this aviary.
The day is coming when I fly off,
but who is it now in my ear who hears my voice?
Who says words with my mouth?
Who looks out with my eyes? What is the soul?
I cannot stop asking.
If I could taste one sip of an answer,
I could break out of this prison for drunks.
I didn’t come here of my own accord, and I can’t leave that way.
Whoever brought me here will have to take me home.
This poetry. I never know what I’m going to say.
I don’t plan it.
When I’m outside the saying of it,
I get very quiet and rarely speak at all.
We have a huge barrel of wine, but no cups.
That’s fine with us. Every morning
we glow and in the evening we glow again.
They say there is no future for us. they’re right.
Which is fine with us.
I honor those who try
To rid themselves of any lying
Who empty the self
And have only clear being there.
I called through your door,
“The mystics are gathering
In the street. Come out!”
“Leave me alone.
“I don’t care if you’re dead!”
Jesus is here, and he wants
To resurrect somebody!”
A H Almaas
from Are You Here? Diamond Heart III page 11 – 16
Regardless of the stories you tell yourself, at this moment this very moment there is only this moment here, now. Nothing else exists. For your direct experience, only the here and now is relevant. Only now is real. And it is always like that. At each moment, only that moment exists. So we need to ask why we put ourselves on hold, waiting for the right time, waiting for the right circumstances to arise in the future. Maybe the right time will never come. Maybe the conditions you have in mind never come together for you. When will you begin to exist then? When will you begin to be here, to live? Regardless of the ideas about past and future that dominate your experience, right at this moment only this moment exists, and only this moment has any significance for you. The most direct an obvious fact of experience is that the moment, the here and now, is all that exists. This is all there is for this moment. Whatever is happening at this moment, that is your life. The future is not your life, it never arrives. What is actually here is always only this moment.
So can you let your self be? I am not suggesting that you let yourself be to get anything or do anything, even to understand anything. I mean just to be. Are you giving yourself the simple privilege of being, of existence? Why do you think that what you do, what you have, what you get or don’t get are more important then just being here. Why are you always trying to get something or go somewhere? Why not just relax and be here, simply existing in all your cells, inhabiting all your body? When are you going to let yourself descend from your lofty preoccupations, and simply land where you are?
Stop striving after all kinds of things; stop dreaming, scheming, planning, working, achieving, attempting, moving, manipulating, trying to be something, trying to get somewhere. You forget the simplest, most obvious thing, which is to be here. If you are not in your body, you miss the source of all significance, meaning and satisfaction. How can you feel the satisfaction, if you aren’t here? We miss who we are, which is fundamentally beingness, existence. If we are not here, we exist only on the fringes of reality. We don’t sufficiently value being. Instead we value what we want to accomplish or what we want to process. It is our biggest mistake. It is called the “great betrayal.”
We are always looking for pleasure, frantically seeking happiness in many ways, and totally missing the simplest, most fundamental pleasure, which actually is also the greatest pleasure: just being here. When we are really present, the presence itself is made out of fullness, contentment, and blissful pleasure.
Our habits and conditioning lead us to forget the greatest treasure we have, our birthright – the pleasure and lightness of existence. We think that we will have pleasure or delight if we fulfill a certain plan, if a certain dream comes true, if someone we care for likes us, if we take a wonderful trip. This attitude is an insult to who we are. We are the pleasure, we are the joy. We are the most profound significance and the highest value. When we understand this, we see that it is ridiculous to think that we will get pleasure and joy through these external things – by doing this or that, or receiving approval or love from this or that person. We see there that we have been misinformed; we have been barking up the wrong tree.
Happiness, value, and pleasure are not the result of anything. These qualities are part of our fundamental nature. If we simply allow ourselves to be, this is our natural experience. You are the most precious thing in the universe, but you behave as if you are the poorest, most trivial thing there is. It doesn’t really take much to see this. Just stop the whirlwind that goes on. Let yourself relax and be here. You can allow yourself to do it wherever you are. You don’t have to be in the Canary Islands to be happy. You don’t have to be with someone you are in love with, and who loves you, to be happy. Putting these conditions of your happiness is a degrading way of looking at yourself. Sure, you can be happy in the Canaries or with someone you love. But how about the rest of the time?
You abandon yourself, then start looking for satisfaction. You feel that something is missing, so you are always searching, becoming more and more frantic as all the things you acquire or accomplish don’t fill you. This whole pattern occurs because you have stopped being. If you let yourself be there, there is no where to go, nothing to look for, because it’s all there. It is not that some people are satisfied by being and others not; no, we all feel satisfied when we are ourselves. It is a quality of our human nature. It is our natural endowment. It is the meaning of being a human being. The only thing we need to do is let ourselves be.
If you simply feel yourself at this moment, even if you don’t feel you’re being in a full, satisfying way, you will naturally become aware of what is blocking your being. We can become naturally curious, and begin to unravel the beliefs, hopes and fears that create the blocks to being aware of our being.
When we stop to consider, we recognize that happiness is not something we’re going to get somewhere, nor is it the result of some action we take. The very fabric of our beingness is itself what we are always actually looking for. We seek pleasure, joy, happiness, peace, strength, power. But these are simply aspects of our existence. Our nature, our origin is the most precious thing there is. The existence itself is a delight. This existence, this delight, is the very center of reality, all the time.
Because we forget our origin and our true nature, we tend to stay on the fringes of existence and never let ourselves live from the center of ourselves. It is quite tragic story. When teachers tell you that you are asleep, or have gone astray, they mean that you have gone astray from your existence. You are asleep to your beingness. But it is not exactly that you have gone astray in the sense that you were somewhere else, became lost and now you’re here. Actually, you were here all the time. You’ve actually always been here, but you kept looking elsewhere. Your beingness is what senses, what looks, what feels.
We are a beingness, not a thought following another thought. We are something much more fundamental, more substantial than that. We are a beingness, an existence, a presence that impregnates the present and fills our body. We go so far away from ourselves, but what we are looking for is so near. We constantly put our attention on whether the situation is what we want. Is it good or bad? But the significance of any experience is our mere presence, nothing else. The content of any experience is simply an external manifestation of that central presence.
So what is the point of waiting? What exactly are you waiting for? Is somebody going to give you what you always wanted? Will a train come from Heaven bringing you goodies? But nothing that could ever happen could be as good, as precious as who you are.
What stops you from being, from being present, is nothing but your hope for the future. Hoping for something to be different keeps you looking for some future fantasy. But it is a mirage; you’ll never get there. The mirage stops you from seeing the obvious, the preciousness of Being. It is a great distortion, a great misunderstanding of what will fulfill you. When you follow the mirage you are rejecting yourself.
Of course, when you let yourself be, as you let yourself sink into reality, you might experience unpleasant things; but these are simply the barriers that stop you from being. In time, with presence, they will dissolve. You might experience discomfort, fear, hurt, various negative feelings. These are the things that you’re trying to avoid by not being here. But they are just accumulations of what has been swept under the rug of unconsciousness; they are not you. They are what you confront on the way to beingness. When we acknowledge and understand these feelings while being present, they dissolve, because the idea of ourselves that they are based on is not real.
When the illusions dissolve, what is real, your nature, will surface and remain. You go through a process of purification, not because Being itself is sullied, but because you have so many accumulated assumptions and beliefs about reality. If you continue to hope, and tell yourself stories, you will remain asleep, because reality is still the way it is whether you like it or not. The mirage hasn’t worked for you yet and it will not work for you with more persistence. Would you want it any other way? Would you want your happiness to depend on something other than your nature?
Our work here is not to get somewhere or to accomplish something, but to allow our being to emerge. Just inhabit your body. We’re not talking about something you do once in a while, when you meditate, and the rest of the time you do the important things in your life. That’s how we think: “I’ll meditate now, and then get on with my day, get on with my important agenda.” What’s important? You’re important. You don’t need to do anything important to be important. You don’t have to achieve enlightenment or accomplish any noble action to give importance to your life. You are. That is the most important thing there is. You’re very special always. You are not important because someone thinks you’re special, nor because of any unusual capacities or accomplishments. You are important because of your nature; you cannot help being important and precious. Nothing can prove it or disprove it.
You are important because without your actual presence, there is no significance in life, no value in life. When you are conscious of your existence the experience is unmitigated pleasure. This pleasure is there regardless of what you’re doing – scrubbing floors, going to the bathroom, creating something wonderful. Every moment is precious, and lived to the fullest. You are not the feelings or the thoughts, or the content of your awareness. None of these are who you are. You are the fullness of your Being, the substance of your presence.
Why Religion Matters P 176
More and more, scientists are finding that if the mathematical ratios in nature had been the slightest bit different, life could not have evolved. Were the force of gravity the tiniest bit stronger, all stars would be blue giants, while if it were slightly weaker, all would be red dwarfs. Or again, had the earth spun in an orbit 5% closer to the sun, it would have experienced a run away greenhouse effect, creating unbearable surface temperatures and evaporating the oceans; while on the other hand, if it had been positioned just 1% farther out, it would have experienced runaway glaciation that locked earth’s water into permanent ice. One and on.
Physicists of the stature of John Polkinghorne find it impossible to believe that such fine–tuning (and the apparent frequency with which it occurs) could have resulted from chance. They toss around improbability figures in the range of one in ten followed by forty zeros. For them, improbabilities of this order all but require us to think that the universe was designed to make human life possible, to which they add that design implies and intelligent designer. They do no laugh when a fellow scientist, Dale Kohler, writes, “We have been scraping away at physical reality all these centuries, and now the layer of the remaining little that we don’t understand is so thin that God’s face is staring right out at us.”