Everything is in this moment, including the thought that there is anything other than this moment.
Ultimately, the only truly indispensible yoga and “path” is life itself, which I suppose is karma yoga whether we call it that or not.
The word “mind” is thought’s attempt to depict itself — to itself — as an ongoing, persistent entity rather than the series of transient events it is.
No vessel, no pieces, no shapes squared or round. No worries — as needed, such forms will abound.
Birth: 07/07/47, Borough of Brooklyn, New York City, USA.
Realization: First “spiritual” experience occurred in 1953 when I was a six year old attending Hebrew School in the thriving New York suburb of Levittown, Long Island. The Bible stories I was taught caused great dissonance in my childish consciousness, I somehow “knew” that the jealous, whimsical, downright murderous “God” depicted in the Old Testament was a concoction of thought, used by those in power to enforce social conformity. My teachers were, of course, relentless with their tales of the vengeance and wrath of “God.” Finally, one summer evening, I stood in my driveway, looked up at the stars, and asked the “God” I was taught to fear and obey to strike me down, as I could not coexist in the same universe with such a ruler/creator. The answer was utter silence, there was only the profound, deeply quiet beauty of the night sky — and so the journey, my “path” to the actual, living “God” began with the stars in a little boy’s eyes.
About three decades ago I was graced with a glimpse of the truly sacred, it was a very powerful and transformational event that I was not ready for, I did not understand its significance fully. A couple of years later, I came to read Ram Dass’ Book “Be Here Now.” It hinted at least somewhat at my experience and pointed me toward a simple, silent meditation practice that immediately opened into some clear understanding of what I had experienced. Very soon there was another opening, far more sustained than anything that had previously happened. I continued to read in an attempt to obtain some context for this utterly remarkable and indescribable state, first Alan Watts’ last book (on Taoism) and then the words of J. Krishnamurti — it was K’s words that spoke directly to the state that kept occuring in my simple, unconditioned practice, it was uncanny! For reasons I to this day cannot explain, I stopped my formal practice and was simply watchful of “my” conscousness, thought processes, and sensory environment — and the remarkable state soon began to occur completely unbidden, with no practice at all involved. It was clear that the practice and the state were not really related causally. The years since then have been an ongoing revelation and gradual integration of this ever-deepening meditative state into my day-to-day, “ordinary” existence on this physical plane that has been given to our species as its primary perceptual focus, it is a constant surrender in what is, to what you might call the divine will. On occasion there have been meditative forays into what may be called extraordinary “planes,” “levels,” or “realms,” with analogs of visable light and vibrational effects that could be called sound, but all these are also surrendered, offered up into the divine presence that is the essence of the unitary, limitless, and utterly formless state of pure love and constant gratitude. Please forgive the miserable inadequacy of my words, they come nowhere near evoking or describing the in-the-moment reality that inspires them, the very best they can do is perhaps to point toward the immeasurable source of all.
Teaching Style: Yahoo Group and other mailing list participation, individual and group darshan/encounter sessions, third-party repository of older writings at Come To Realization.
The surrender is not “to” anything, but rather in what is, which is the expression of what might be called “divine will” given to us as humans. It is in that ultimate act of faith that the certainty we long for (still inexpressible, even by a Rumi or a Hafiz) occurs, not vice-versa. We do not embody the truly sacred by understanding its nature beforehand in a victory of the human intellect and sensorium, it comes unbidden when we viscerally experience the limitations of these tools and the futility of our ambitions, including and especially the ambition to find the “proper” entity to which to surrender the sword of personal sovereignty. That surrender must be unconditional, as the Christians say, “Not my will, but Thine….”
There seems to be a good deal of confusion between Einsteinian time, which is just a physical dimension like length, breadth, or mass, and psychological time, the human sense of “becoming” rather than simply “being.” The former simply is, the latter ends when thought ceases creating it.
It is not something that “we get,” it is something that occurs by grace. How one best “prepares the ground” or otherwise attempts to make conditions conducive for the gracious event varies widely between humans — for some it will be a simple sitting meditation, for some it will be the deliberate discovery of kundalini energies through a technical practice, for some it will be a deep philosophical enquiry that culminates in seeing the limits of the intellect itself, for some it will be the risky devotional commitment of bhakti with a beloved, trusted teacher, and for others the course of life itself suffices. There is no Swiss Army Knife[tm] of perceptual transformation.
Where there is truly heartfelt understanding thought will provide rightful service choicelessly, where the heart is not so engaged thought will serve only its own concocted ends.
A Pointing On “Ego”
In is common in yoga and meditation circles to assume that it is possible to kill, subjugate, throttle, or otherwise control an entity called the “ego,” also known as the “small self.” In meditation, it has become clear that “ego” is not actually the ongoing, persistent entity depicted in the annals of psychiatry and psychology, but rather a movement or pattern of thought(s) — a transient, passing phenomenon that creates the impression of continuity by virtue of deriving its pattern from a template stored in memory. Each occurrence of the pattern records itself back into memory and provides the template for the next occurrence, ad infinitum unto the physical death of the thinking brain. The ability to form an ego was originally a survival trait — a sense of individuality with an accompanying nominal identity serves the survival needs of its host human organism. For example, one must manifest an ego to haggle with the fruit vendor, or to complain to the bank manager when the ATM has dispensed one too few $20 bills. This is the rightful role of the ego, a tool wielded in the same sense that one uses foot speed to escape a predator or manual dexterity to peel a fruit for eating — it is a gift of human incarnation that helps us physically survive in the world. Ego becomes troublesome when it becomes taken with its own success and fears its own extinction. Having had notable success — we receive much praise and reinforcement when we respond to our names and when we identify baby toys as “mine” — ego comes to identify its existence with that of the host organism, it sees itself as the organism’s essence rather than as a tool or servant of survival. It is an ego with this “sticky” quality or tendency that is seen as problematic in our yogas and meditations. The fact is, my friend, that there has never been a functional human being who does not manifest ego as required — all the revered ones (other than perhaps a few oddities dependent on others for their survival requirements) show evidence of ego. I would posit that what distinguishes a truthful one from a “normal,” ego-driven person is not any permanent absence of ego, but rather the falling away of ego when there is no rightful work for ego to do — for a truthful one, meditation is not a practice or routine, but a spontaneous perceptual shift that occurs naturally as ego falls away in the absence of anything requiring ego! For the truthful one, ego dies in virtually every moment, thus making perceptual “room” for the truly sacred.
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