Robert Adams

Satsang Recording

There Are No Problems

Advaita Satsang with Robert Adams
There Are No Problems

Robert: Good evening. It’s good to be with you again, and I know some of you can’t wait until I start talking, but I tell you in truth, that it’s in silence where you receive the best message. Silence is another name for God. Quietness is a name for consciousness, peace. Everything is found in the silence, not too much in the words, in quietness. You should try to be quiet for as long as you can, especially when you are at home. Try to sit in the silence and quietness for as long as you can. It’s in the silence where you will receive the message. It’s in silence where pure awareness reveals itself to you. Never be afraid to sit in the silence. It’s your greatest asset. I get many phone calls. One of the most frequent requests I get is how to resolve personal problems. I had one this morning, a phone call. And this person had so many problems, yet she has been meditating for twenty-five years and she still has problems. There’s only one way in which to remove all problems. I don’t care how great the problem may be. It makes no difference how serious you think it is. There is one way to eliminate everything. And that way is to realize, “I am not the doer.” In other words, the problem has absolutely nothing to do with you, even though it appears to, it’s only an appearance. What is a problem really? A problem is something that’s not going your way. The world is not spinning the way you want it to, that’s a problem. Things are not going the way you’d like them to or things are happening that you have no control of, you believe therefore you have got a problem. But if you look at everybody on this earth, one persons problem is not another persons problem usually. Where do these problems come from? We’ve been told what’s good and what’s bad, so if we don’t have the good that we think we should have, we’ve got a problem. But really, nothing is good and nothing is bad, but thinking makes it so. If you therefore get rid of your mind, you will not have any problems. The main aspect of our teaching is to annihilate the mind and the ego. When the mind and ego are transcended some mysterious power takes over and takes better care of you than you could ever do yourself. But first the mind and ego has to go. It’s difficult for most Americans to do things like this because we’ve been taught to use your mind. Mind is everything and most of you believe if you don’t use your mind you will vegetate. On the contrary, what is your mind? It is only a conglomeration of thoughts of the past and of the future. You usually worry about the past and dread the future. For your mind brings up all sorts of things not only from this life but from past life experiences, samskaras, tendencies that you have. If you begin to realize “I am not the doer” where is the problem? To begin with, the universe is your friend and can never hurt you. The substratum of all existence is love. Consequently, if you develop a consciousness of love there will be no problems, for love will take care of everything. Love is the same as absolute awareness, pure intelligence. Love is the same as parabrahman. Again, it is the substratum of all existence. So if you have enough love there is no problem. The problem only arises when you think that you are human and you think you’re the doer, in other words, when you believe that unless I do this something terrible will happen. But again, something terrible is only a preconceived idea, it is not the truth. Something terrible is something you’ve been brainwashed to believe. You again believe you have to live a certain way and if you can’t live this way, it’s terrible. You have to have certain possessions, certain things in your life. If you do not do this it’s terrible. When you start to understand what, “I am not the doer” means, you become free of all problems. What does it mean when you say, “I am not the doer?” (And this is what you should do whenever you think you’ve got a problem.) To begin with, you first realize that everything, and I mean everything, was determined before you came to this earth. Everything has been planned for you. Even the day you’re going to give up the body. Everything is preordained. If you accept this and feel this, where is the problem? What’s the worst thing that can ever happen to you? If you really analyze it, it’s not that bad. It appears bad but it’s not. And remember how the appearance works. It’s like the snake and the rope. A man gets out of his bathtub in the dark and steps on a rope and he thinks it’s a snake and he has a tremendous fear. When he finds out it’s only a rope the fear dissipates and he is never afraid again of that problem. So, in the same instance, when you believe, and believe, and think, and think that you have a problem, it’s like the snake and the rope. It’s not really a problem, it’s just a preconceived idea of what’s going to happen if you don’t get what you want. Because you have been brought up again, to believe that your life has to be a certain way, where in truth and reality it does not have to be anyway. As an example, if I go home this evening and I find out somebody has robbed my house, and they have cleaned everything out of my house, is that a problem? It’s all been preordained. This was determined before I came to this earth in my body. I will not react negatively. I will not react at all. Because I feel that I am the universe and all is well. There are no mistakes. Therefore I will bless the thief, no problem whatsoever. If I’m walking across the street and a car passes a red light and hits me, it isn’t the drivers fault. It has all been preordained. So why should I get angry? The point is that everything, everything that’s happened to you, has been preordained. There is nothing wrong. Now how should you handle things? The first concept is to realize that, “I am not the doer.” When you realize you are not the doer it means that your body is going through the experience but not you. The next thing you do is you ask yourself, “Who is having this experience? To whom does it come? It comes to me. I’m feeling the depression. I feel hurt. I feel out of sort. I feel that I’ve been robbed or hit by a car. I’m angry, I’m mad. Who is this I? How can the I be so many things, angry, mad, depressed, hurt, out of sort?” You therefore hold onto the feeling of I. You hold onto that feeling and you follow it through to its source. The source of I is always consciousness or absolute awareness, when you follow it to its source. But now, the only way you can follow it to its source is to forget about your problem, for you can’t do both at once. So, you have to turn resolutely away from your problem, totally away from the problem, as if it doesn’t exist, and hold on to the me. Hold onto the me who thinks it has a problem. As soon as you begin to hold onto me, or I, the problem will begin to dissipate all by itself, and you’ll start to laugh, you will. For it is virtually impossible for your real Self to have a problem. For your real Self is omnipresent, absolute. Your real Self is emptiness, nirvana, pure intelligence. Your real Self is omnipresent, it’s everywhere present at the same time. When you understand who you are, no-thing will ever disturb you again. Now people ask me, “If I develop a sense of I and I follow it to its culmination, does that mean I will never have a problem again?” And I have to laugh when people ask me that, for as long as you’re identifying with I, it is the I that has the problem. So when you say, “Will I never have a problem again?” you’re defeating your own purpose. For I is filled with problems, not only from this life but from previous existences. The trick is to follow the I to the source, and then the I will disappear, totally, completely, absolutely. And when the I disappears, so does your problem. In other words, the world doesn’t change but you do. Your reaction changes. Just like the screen and its images. When the time comes when you have transcended I, you become like the screen and like the images shown on the screen. Which means the world does not change. Everything in the world will present itself to you like it always does, but it will be like water off a duck’s back. It will not be attached to you anymore. You will now have identification with the screen, or with the Self. Am I clear in this? In other words, the screen and the images are the same, but the screen is aware of itself and also of its images, and it’s not affected by the kind of images you show. You can show a bank robbery taking place on the screen, a murder being committed, people making love, houses burning down, wars ensuing. How does that affect the screen? It does not. The screen is never affected, yet the images change, one after the other. In the same way, your Self is like the screen. It is never affected by problems of any kind or any sort. The problems come upon the screen, they come and they go, but you remain the Self forever. You never change. How do you begin to become this way? Every time you think you have a problem you must ask yourself, “To whom does the problem come? After all, I am not the doer. I am not the body. I am not the mind. So to whom does the problem come?” And of course the answer will be, “To me. I feel this problem. The problem comes to me.” You hold onto the me, you abide in the me and you go deeper, and deeper, and deeper within yourself, abiding in the I-consciousness. As you keep doing this everyday, every time a problem appears, the day will finally come soon when you transcend your sense of I. You totally transcend it. The sense of I disappears and you will become pure consciousness. That’s it. Any questions? SN: Robert, on the path, compassion and humility are important. Is it something that develops of itself or is it something that we can work on? R: As you keep asking yourself, “To whom does the arrogance come? Who’s belligerent? To whom do these feeling come?” They will begin to dissipate of their own accord. And in their place will come compassion and humility. Therefore you have to catch yourself. Whenever you feel arrogant, whenever you feel belligerent, whenever you feel out of sorts. Do not go into that feeling. Do not hold onto it, but immediately ask yourself, “To whom does this come? Who has this feeling? It comes to me, Who’s me? Who am I?” And again you hold on to the I or hold on to the me. Again if you do this often enough, the day will come when you transcend me. And there will be truer love. SN: So it’s not a matter of developing humility or compassion itself, but more recognizing its opposite? And what of Buddhist loving kindness meditation? R: Yes, pure awareness is your real nature. Loving kindness is your Self. These other things seem to be attached to you but they don’t really exist. As you begin to inquire, “Then to whom do they come?” you will find out that they never existed to begin with. And you’ll be free of them forever. But if you try to develop them any other way, it doesn’t work quite as good. For you may develop kindness for a certain problem, but when it comes to another problem the kindness will not be there. Therefore you forget about the problem and you inquire, “To whom does it come?” and when you follow the I, remember everything is attached to the I, the whole thing will be transcended into nothingness and you’ll be free. SN: That’s assuming that we recognize when the ego rears its head. But very often we justify our own actions. (R: But now that you know, you won’t.) (laughter) Thank you. R: That’s only when you don’t know what you’re doing here, that you justify your actions. But since you’re beginning to understand, you will be able to catch yourself more and more, whenever you start getting egotistical and you’ll nip it at the bud, it will eventually disappear. SU: I know what you say is true, I mean… (R: How do you know?) (laughter) Okay most of what you say is true. (laughter) (R: Why?) Now wait a minute! I found it a long time ago, but then like I went other directions and got back to the problems. R: If you really found it a long time ago it would’ve never left. (SU: Well no it hasn’t left it’s just that I’ve been playing another role, like playing roles and doing other things.) But when you turn on the light the darkness disappears, forever. (SU: Right. (laughs)) So if you really had it, you’ll have it now. It would never leave no matter what role you play. You can play any role you like. Like the screen, you can show any kind of picture you like, murderers, rapists, arsonists, lovers whatever you like. But the screen never changes, the image does. Therefore if you really had it once, you’d never change, no matter what you go through. How can you lose your Self? (SU: Well I don’t know, sometimes I feel I do lose myself.) It’s impossible. (SU: Really, well it feels like it, I feel I’ve lost myself a lot of times.) What is real is real, you’re referring to your ego. (SU: Yeah, right.) Not your Self. (SU: Yeah it’s the ego, right.) We call the ego, the Self sometimes. (SU: Yeah.) It’s a case of mistaken identity. (SU: Uh-huh?) Remember the universe is your friend. It’s on your side there’s nothing against you. The only thing against you are your thoughts. If you learn to quiet your mind you’ll have no problems. SU: Well like you say that if a problem isn’t your problem, you don’t have a problem? You think you have a problem but you really don’t have a problem? (R: Umm, correct.) Then didn’t the ego create this problem? R: The ego’s responsible for all your faults. (SU: Yeah.) But the ego doesn’t exist. So you have no problems. (SU: Okay.) (laughs) You think it exists and because you think it exists you have to get rid of it. If you just realized all of a sudden it doesn’t exist, you’d be free. But as long as you believe it exists, you have to do all these techniques to get rid of it. Because you refuse to accept that you have no ego. SU: I don’t know, I guess I have a problem with trying to be responsible. (R: Responsible for what?) Oh well responsible, but then again that’s the ego, responsible for what happens. R: There’s a greater power than you, that knows how to take of everything for you. All you’ve got to do is be still and quiet your mind and everything will work out harmoniously. We always think we have to get involved. There’s nothing we really have to do. The world was here before you came. It’ll be here after we leave. Your job it to find out who you are and what you’re doing in this world by self-inquiry. SH: If everything is predetermined as you said, that would leave no room for spontaneity, something just happening on its own freely. (R: Exactly. Nothing happens on its own.) But everything happens? (R: Sure, but not on its own.) There’s no such thing as spontaneous action, right? R: No. It appears that way but there’s not. When I speak of being spontaneous, I’m referring to, just doing everything in the moment, living in the moment, rather than planning for the future. (SH: It feels like it’s spontaneous.) Of course it does. The world also feels real. (SH: There’s nobody making it happen? It’s just happening?) That’s how it appears. But nothing is really happening. (SH: It’s all just appearances dancing, playing.) It’s called false imagination. There is absolutely nothing going on. (SH: Well that’s nice to know. (laughs) Are you sure of that?) I’m positive. (SH: Okay I’ll take it on your word.) Take it on your own word! Find out for yourself. (laughs) (SH: Well I haven’t quite done that, so I’ll take it on yours to start out.) You shouldn’t. (laughter) (SH: I have confidence in you.) Why I may be a big liar. (laughter) (SH: You could be, maybe you are but I don’t feel that in your space, I have to go on what I feel.) Why should you believe me at all? Find out for yourself. (SH: Well because you look a little like he does (points to picture) I have confidence in him so some of it rubs off on you.) That’s an optical illusion. (SH: It’s a nice one.) (laughter) The truth is, we all have to go within ourselves and discover our own truth. Otherwise we become an automaton. SH: No, no, no I’m not counting on you, I’m not depending on you in any way or whatever. (R: Good, don’t.) I won’t, you can count on that. (laughter) (R: Good!) SK: Depend on who? (SH: Yeah who is there to depend on?) R: Anytime you depend on a person, you will be disappointed. (SH: Right.) SD: I think I make the error of thinking that, the things that are nice are not projections of my mind, you know. Like when something’s bad I say, “Well that’s just a projection of my mind,” but when I look at my six month old kitten or something, I think, God if that’s a projection it sure is a good one, you know? (R: That’s the trick of maya.) A lot of maya is really pleasing. R: Of course. That’s to keep you earth bound. The more you love something on this earth, the more earth bound you become. When I speak of having a consciousness of love, I’m not really speaking of human love. I’m speaking of pure consciousness, pure awareness, that’s love. (SD: But I can’t help being grateful for the pleasant projections of my mind. Is that an error?) Yes because when you’re grateful for the pleasant projections, what happens when your kitten dies? (SD: (laughs) I’ll think about that when the moment comes.) Then you’ll be totally disappointed. (SD: It’s worth the risk to me.) But if you came out of both. If you’re able to transcend the good and the bad. You’d be in a completely different state of love, and when something is alive you love it, and when it’s dead you understand it because you realize, nothing dies. (SD: I already conceived of that.) So you’d be happy all the time. SH: No life doesn’t die, but the vehicles which it inhabits temporarily, they certainly die. R: But where do the vehicles come from? (SH: Where do the vehicles come from? Where do bodies come from?) Yes. (SH: You haven’t been told about the birds and the bees? (laughter) No, not quite. It comes from the same place a dream comes from. (SH: Uh-huh, so it’s a dream, living dream.) Mortal dream. You should actually forget about yourself, your body self. And focus on the I. It’s hard to understand for most Westerners, that the body is only an appearance. It seems to be a fact but it’s not the truth. Now why not? If the body were real it would stay the same always, wouldn’t it? It would never change. You’d be the same way you were when you were a baby, but you change every year. We become older, we become different. So how can the body be real? As soon as it appears to be real old, and then it just drops away. What is real is immortal, can never change. You are reality. But your body is not. Therefore you are not your body. So what are you? Find out for yourself. Go within and discover who you are. SG: Can you say in a relative sense that each of us although it seems that we’re separated, there’s something inside each of us that is somewhat unique in a relative illusionary sense but that we all have our own self transmitter. If we connect with that within ourselves which seems to be slightly different, but if we really find that particular thing within our individual selves there’s something that is guiding us. That we can submit to. R: That sort of becomes a little complicated. (SG: I mean it sort of becomes like an automatic pilot. There is something that is already there, but for everybody it’s slightly different.) There is one Self. (SG: There is one Self.) And all this is the Self and I am that. (SG: Yeah.) So it’s not really different for everybody. The same Self is true for all people. You mean the way to get there? (SG: The way to get there, it wouldn’t be exactly the same per se, but there’s a connection to that one Self which is unique in a sense to each individual. Through their own self experience, which is — can’t be described.) You can say that, if you like to. SK: If you were good at it, it seems that you could describe it too. (laughter) R: (laughs) See we’re going to complicate things. Just realize – “I am that,” and end it. If everyday you can say to yourself, “I – I” “I – I,” and use that as a mantra. That will suffice. Because I is the first name of God. And when you say, “I – I” you are declaring the truth about yourself. So try that. There’s no need to get technical, it’s very simple. You are not the body, you are the Self. I-am that I-am, pure consciousness, that is your real nature, focus on that and forget about everything else. Again it’s difficult for a Westerner to comprehend this because they say, “Well what about my work? What about my family? What about this? What about that?” Everything will be taken care of. You will never get to the point where you want to run away and live in a cave. You will go on just like you’re going on. Only you will know yourself and you will be happy and peaceful all the time. You will have a feeling of immortality. A feeling of divinity, of joy, bliss, happiness and you will act out of that. So, if you want to bring peace to this world. Do not change anybody or anything. Discover who you are and that becomes omnipresent. Look at all the peace groups we’ve had since time immemorial, what has it done for us. Things appear to become relatively worse. And that’s not the answer trying to make people peaceful. The answer again is to discover your true reality. Discover your Self and you’ll have peace. I’m not referring to the fact that you should become a doormat, for people to step under or step on. You have to put on an act sometimes. Imagine yourself as being an actor or actress and that’s how you act in the world. It reminds of the story, of a little village where there lived a gigantic reptile, snake. Who used to eat all the children. And all the parents were so worried, they never let the children go out to play. One day the word got out of a great yogi, great Master with all kinds of supernatural powers was coming to the village, he was going through. The fathers of the village approached him and they said, “Master, please help us, this snake is eating our children, what should we do?” The Master said, “I’ll take care of it.” And he went to the snakes lair, he spoke snake language and he said, “Snake, come out.” And the snake did and he rebuffed the snake and he said, “I don’t want to catch you eating these children again, leave them alone, do you hear?” and the snake could do nothing but obey him, he said, “Yes Master.” The Master left. Six months passed and the Master was walking through that same town again. He saw all the children playing peacefully. But then he saw a crowd of children and he went over to see what was the matter. And there in the middle of the crowd was the snake, nearly dead. The kids threw stones at it and the snake didn’t respond. The kids kicked it. The snake didn’t do anything. It was half dead. So the Master chased the kids away and he said, “Snake what is the matter with you, why do you let these kids do this to you?” And then the snake said, “But Master you told me not to do anything.” The Master said, “You stupid snake, I told you not to bite, did I tell you not to hiss.” (laughter) And so it is with us. Sometimes you have to act accordingly. For instance when you’re bringing up children. Sometimes you have to scream a little, do certain things, act a certain way, but you should never lose the fact of who you are. Always remember your real nature and always remember you’re putting on an act. Therefore when I tell you to have a consciousness of loving kindness and humility, I do not mean for you to become a doormat for people. But to act accordingly, remembering it’s only an act and it will pass. Any questions about that? SU: Well that’s what I feel like I’m doing is acting, listening. R: As long as you’re aware that you’re acting you’ll be at peace. (SU: And if I’m really aware of acting, I’m okay but not really putting on a show.) Do not get caught up in it. (SU: Yeah right. And if you say you do have to do that?) Sometimes you have to do that, but as long as you’re aware of your Self, you will not really hurt anybody else. You will hiss. Feel free to talk about anything you feel like talking about. SK: How does one understand they’re not being the doer? That they’re somehow accomplishing the practice of not being the doer. R: Simply by inquiring, “Who am I?” (SK: “Who am I?” inquiry?) Yes, “To whom does the I come? From whence cometh the I?” When you follow the I, the doer-ship disappears. (SK: And then?) And your Self emerges. Through self-inquiry, you get rid of the idea that you are the doer. (SK: And until then?) Until then you do the best you can. (SK: By selfinquiry or…?) Practice self-inquiry but do the best you can otherwise. Make every point of your life self-inquiry, all during the day. (SK: Excuse me?) All during the day, as soon as you get hit by a question of some kind or some kind of feeling or mood, ask the question to yourself, “To whom does this come?” SN: Robert, we could practice self-inquiry or you can practice surrender, also? (R: Of course.) And does it matter if you go back and forth? R: It doesn’t matter at all, as long as it helps you. Surrender is when you say to yourself, “Not my will but thine” and you totally give up living your own life. That’s not as easy as you think. (SN: Isn’t saying, “I am not the doer” surrender?) In a way it is, yes. SD: Is it the same as the popular expression, “Let go, let God,” is that surrender? R: Yes it is. But it’s easier said than done. (SD: Oh for sure.) Because it means you really have to let go of everything. Everything! You no longer have a life of your own. Everything is given up to God. SN: I mean when you’re confronted with certain circumstances in your life and you’re trying to deal with that circumstance, one way to deal with it would be through self-inquiry, “To whom does this come?” And another method if you find that may not be effective is to say, “I am not the doer, not my will, but thine.” In other words just surrender. (R: Or you can use just ordinary language. You can say, “Take it God, take it.”) That’s what I’m saying. (R: And feel a sense of release, a sense of peace, that’s not your problem but Gods. SD: But the concept of everything being predestined more or less is the same thing isn’t it? (R: Yes.) It’s not even precisely God’s will as if it were some futuristic thing but it’s already determined. R: Yet if you can’t grasp that, go back to God, and surrender to God. Whatever is easier for you. (SD: But one might just change it a little relatively in the mind and think that God’s will has already been decided. There’s a slight nuance but maybe it’s not important.) Well you can also think that God’s will is decided and you have to suffer and that’s not right. Unless you’ve got to watch what you’re doing. I recall in the old testament when I read it years ago, I forgot where in Chronicles or somewhere, it says something like this, “The battle is not yours but Gods. Set yourself, stand ye still and see the salvation of the Lord.” (SD: That’s good.) It’s the same thing we’re talking about. Become still, become quiet. SK: Should one still do action? No? R: Whatever you’re going to do, you’re going to do. It’ll happen by itself. You have nothing to with it. (SK: What if one finds no action happening?) Then that’s what you’re supposed to do at the moment. (SK: Then that continues for what seems to be longer and longer.) That’s supposed to happen. (SK: If that’s supposed to happen?) Yes. You have absolutely nothing to do with that. Take yourself away from that. (SK: Because it’s a dream it really doesn’t matter.) Your body’s going to go through whatever it has to go through. But it has nothing to do with you. SD: I think sometimes there’s confusion when you say, “You’re not the doer” and people think that means that they can just sit and life will happen to them or something, but… R: They won’t be able to. (SD: It’s not quite that way?) Even if they try to sit, they will not be able to. (SD: Unless they’re not supposed to.) That’s right. Everything is planned you have nothing to worry about. Be happy. SV: Can you intercede with my boss to fire me? (laughter) R: If you’re supposed to get fired you will. (laughter) SD: If someone tells you to do something say, “I am not the doer?” (laughter) (General talk between students and laughter) SN: Robert, if someone has mental anguish, say for instance, yet they may think, well this is predestined or I am not the doer and in a sense they may accept that, see what I’m saying? R: Sure the way to handle that is you do not fret over it or concern yourself. You simply ask yourself, “To whom do those feelings come? Who’s feeling this way?” And it will go away, the feelings will leave you and you’ll be happy. SN: One may think, say for instance, if you think “I am not the doer” and yet this comes to you, you may think well, I’m supposed to experience this. (R: Not if you’re practicing selfinquiry.) Right, so that’s why there’s a difference between thinking you are not the doer, and thinking that everything is preordained, therefore I’m supposed to feel anguish or doing self-inquiry which kind of cuts through everything. R: See everything is preordained. In other words, so if you’re supposed to get hit by a car and have your legs amputated, it’s going to happen no matter how you try to stop it. But, if you’re a Jnani and you were practicing self-inquiry it won’t matter because that’s not where your at. You’re no longer body conscious. And you see it completely differently. You see a different world. You see wholeness, completeness and it won’t bother you. (SN: What of the ajnani?) Then you suffer. That’s why the solution for the world is, not to react to any condition. But to practice inquiry. And ask, “To whom does this come?” That’s the freedom you’ve got to do. As a matter of fact that’s the only freedom you’ve got. Not to react to any condition, but to turn within, that’s the freedom you’ve got. SD: It’s just that not reacting is so difficult on the earth plane at least. Is the next step to say, “Who is reacting?” R: You can say that too if you like, if it helps you. But if you practice before hand, then if there’s a war, or the place is bombed, you will not be affected. In other words, don’t wait until the last minute. SD: Well true but say something like catastrophic happens or it appears to happen to you and you just can’t seem bodily not react, then the next solution I guess would be to say, “Who is reacting? To whom does this come?” R: You can say that or you can practice mindfulness and become the witness to the situation. (SD: Yeah that’s right be the observer, mindfulness, being the witness. As Arnold put a check through the other day, all the world’s a play and that’s one way of looking at it too.) You do whatever you have to do. (SV: Or whatever you don’t have to do?) Right. SA: Robert, I’ve been thinking about my own experience here and it seems to me that, since I’ve been coming to you my mind is more active and not less active. (laughter) (R: Is it good though?) I don’t know but I have interpreted it to myself in a certain way. R: Well is it good for you, do you find that you’re happier? SA: It’s both good and bad, I would say. I can’t say it’s one or the other. This is the way I thought of it. Years ago I read a book, “Exodus in Kabbalah” a marvelous book and its author says that if you read – he reads the tale of Exodus as symbols, as a metaphor of spirit – when the Israelites tried to leave Egypt, as he sees it, they were held by the body who is Pharaoh and so my mind turned to that and thought, as I try to still the mind, the mind will use every cunning and every bit of power that it has. So that’s why it’s more of an intense experience since I’ve been coming here. R: Of course. Well that’s one way to see it, but the reason why I was asking you if you were happier is because sometimes it’s not the mind any longer. You think it’s the mind. But it’s your feeling of I that’s doing that for you. It should make you happier. Give you a sense of peace. (SA: You mean the I would take delight in more mind activity?) Yes. (SA: The true I? Yes. (SA: The real Self?) Yes. You don’t become passive. (SA: That’s interesting.) That’s a good point. Many people think when you become self-realized, you become passive and you just sit, like me. (laughter) On the contrary. You do things better. It all depends on your bodily karma. SG: So you don’t worry about what you do and you don’t do? (R: Exactly.) You do as much as you have to and you don’t do as much as you have to, it’s all the same? R: What you’re going to do will be done. It’s all the same, it’ll be done. (SG: So we don’t need to be still or not be still?) It’ll be done in any event. So why worry about it. SN: Arnold when you’re talking about trying to still the mind, I know that I’ve had a lot of problems when I was practicing formal meditation. And the problem was that I was trying to still the mind and I think on this path is that you don’t try to still the mind. You just be still, it’s not something… (tape break) …it’s what you are. And it’s a hard thing to explain and it’s a hard thing to understand. But the more you try, the further away you go from it and now, rather than do formal meditation I just try to pick up on the spirit of what this is about and I sit in that same chair and without really trying to meditate or really trying to do anything, I just sit and be. Whether I’m observing my thoughts, whether I’m doing self-inquiry or whether I’m surrendering. It’s not the same all the time. So it’s not like I have a formal meditation where I’m trying to still my mind. I’m in a different place every time and whatever occurs, occurs. But I do it very naturally, just sit in your own awareness as some would say. And I find I can do it for double, triple the period of time. Because I’m just sitting there I’m not really doing anything. Whereas when I’m meditating it’s a strain and I almost can’t wait till I get up and get it over with. So it’s not a matter of trying, just a matter of being. (SD: That’s a good point.) (SA: Very good.) SD: Robert has always explained to us that meditation is not realization, meditation simply helps to quiet the mind and so it’s a means to an end, but it’s not an end in itself. R: Does God have to meditate? Who is he going to meditate on? Himself? SH: It’s the meditator who’s in the way, who’s coming up to work. SN: Actually it kind of turns all the way around rather than being a burden or what have you. It becomes very pleasant. Because if you’re sitting there and you’re almost saying okay what will the mind bring me now? And each thought and each experience is like a different bubble. And it becomes kind of joyous, you almost anticipate it. And it’s hard to explain it’s a hard thing to get into I think. It’s only by going within, experimenting within the laboratory of the body can get to that. And there’s no doubt that the more you try the more difficult it becomes. No doubt about that. Experiment and see for yourself. It’s not like trying to stop the thoughts, that’s not it at all. Although the thoughts do need to be stopped. SD: Didn’t you say Robert that it’s the stillness or the space between the thoughts that we’re seeking? R: Yes. Think of the space between words. That’s your real Self. (SD: Like the space, there’s total emptiness or something?) Um-hm. Space is your real nature. Consciousness is space. Therefore when there’s space in your mind, there’s consciousness and that only happens when you become quiet and still. Therefore all methods, yoga, hatha yoga, rajah yoga, Ishtunga Yoga all these yogas are simply to quiet your mind. But they take the long way around. Here we have no intermediates. That’s why this is called the direct path. There’s no fooling around, you go directly to go, you don’t stop. SU: Do you have a name for whatever you’re talking about? Well, I don’t mean it just like that, but I mean, is it Buddhism? R: No, it’s called Jnana Marga. The path of wisdom. (SU: Path of wisdom, that’s what I wanted to know.) SK: (spells word) G Y A N A? (J N A N A (Robert corrects)) SN: But it’s not different from what Ramana actually taught, right? (R: The same thing.) Did he have a title? (R: Did he have a title?) (SH: Label? (laughs) You need a label for it.) SD: Can Jnana in addition to wisdom mean knowledge? Are they the same thing and Marga means path? (R: Yes.) (SK: Self-inquiry is another term that’s used? R: Vichara, self-inquiry, but it makes no difference what you call it, do it. (SA: But Vedanta is the same too?) In a way, Advaita Vedanta is the same in a way, yes. It’s all the same thing. SD: So the knowledge they’re referring to, is the knowledge of the Self, right? R: Yes, if you discover yourself, you’ll know everything else. That’s the only knowledge you really need. When I was at Ramana Ashram for the last time, I met a judge, an Indian. And he said he never went to school. But since he was eight years old, he’s been practicing Jnana Marga, self-inquiry. And when he was twenty-eight he took the bar exam in India and passed, without any training. And thus became a judge ten years later. So it shows you when you know yourself, you know everything else. For again, your body’s going to do whatever it has to do. There’s a reason why your body came to this earth. It’s going to accomplish the mission. And you have absolutely nothing to do with it. SD: You’ve often quoted Christ who said, “Be still and know that I am is God.” I think all the great Masters say the same thing. That’s one of the most reassuring things that I’ve discovered. SV: Are you aware of your own mission? R: I don’t have any mission. (SV: Your body’s mission?) I don’t have any body. (SV: What your body’s going to do tomorrow?) I have no idea. (SV: So for the body there’s no such thing as a mission that was not accomplished in this world?) No. (SV: Always will be accomplished?) The mission is for the ajnani, they see a mission, but for the Jnani there’s no mission. (SV: But your body whatever it’s here to do, will do whatever it was here to do no matter what?) Yes. And that’s how you see it. (SV: Right.) But in reality nobody’s doing anything. (SV: Right.) Look at everything you do as an optical illusion. The appearance is there. I guess the example that I can give is that there have been some of these great Masters like Ramana Maharshi for instance who died of a horrible case of cancer, but he was laughing all the way. Because he did not see it like that. His disciples did and they were worried but he did not see that at all. For he realized there’s nobody to die because nobody exists. No body exists! Therefore there’s no body to die. SH: How did he perceive the pain of the cancer? (R: He didn’t.) There was no pain to perceive? (R: Well he claimed that there was a slight, like a bee sting.) SK: But there was no one there to feel the pain? R: Exactly. They gave him operations without any anesthetic. Try not to think about your body too much. Just take proper care of it. Exercise it a little, eat the right foods, give it a good kick when it doesn’t behave, treat it like you treat a dog, your pet, but don’t think too much of it. Rama Krishna used to call his body, his donkey and when it didn’t behave he’d slap it, (slaps leg) behave! So again to get rid of your problems and your faults and everything else, by searching for your Self. And in that searching, you get rid of everything. Because all these things are attached to the I. When the I goes, everything else goes with it and you become free. The point of todays lesson is this: Never try to heal a problem, at the level of the problem. It cannot be done. It appears as if it can be done. For instance, if somebody owes you money, and you sue them in court. You may win the case and get back your money, but that’s the level of the problem. But then you’ll find, somebody else gets money from you some other way. And it never stops. Until you find out to whom it comes. When you find out to whom the trouble occurs, who has this problem, everything disappears. And you’re healed. SD: Would you say that applies to illnesses of the body for example? (R: Yes, to everything.) But you would ask, “To whom does this illness come?” (R: “To whom does it come?”) And the answer would be to the body which is non existent? (R: Exactly. So you become free.) Right, free as opposed to cured? (R: Yes, but who’s not cured?) Right. R: It’s a completely new perspective. (tape ends)