Robert Adams

Satsang Recording

Dealing With Problems

Advaita Satsang with Robert Adams
Dealing With Problems

Robert: (tape starts abruptly) …to do anything they want. No real Sage has ever eaten meat. Not because they are particular about it but because they follow a satvic diet. It appears to me that the higher you go in consciousness the less food you eat. And the food that you do eat is pretty pure. Not for any particular reason, but that’s the way it is. But still when you think of all the turkeys… (laughter) …that were slaughtered, millions of turkeys, seems strange. Anyway, I welcome you with all my heart. Notice what I said. “‘I,’ welcome you.” I did not say my body welcomes you. (laughter) I said, “I welcome you.” Whenever I use the pronoun ‘I,’ I always refer to consciousness. So my I is the same as your I. There’s only one I. There’s only one person. There’s only absolute awareness. That I is consciousness. That I is you and me. So when I say, “I welcome you,” I’m referring to all of us, as ‘I.’ Yet the body has nothing to do with it. As long as we’re stuck in the body-mind phenomena, we mean “I” as a person welcomes you. But “I” as a person has nothing to do with you whatsoever. Only ‘I’ is consciousness. It is none other than your Self. That’s called ultimate oneness. I received some phone calls from some of you last week about a lesson we had on Sunday. They still can’t understand, how to solve your problems. And that’s usually what my phone calls are all about from people. Everybody appears to have a problem. Whether it’s depression or loneliness, or lack, or limitation, or a sickness. There is always a problem. And they want to know how to resolve the problem. There’s only one way to resolve the problem, so that it never comes back and that’s not at the level of the problem. That’s to go higher than the problem, to ignore the problem and to realize, who it is who has the problem. Think of your problem, if you have any. You say, “I have a problem.” The mistake that you’re making is you’re identifying I with your body and your mind. Then that’s the only problem you’ve got. You still believe that you are the problem or the body or the doer or the mind. That is the only problem you’ve got, no other problem. So, if the problem of I is resolved, every other problem is resolved also. And people cannot grasp this. But think about it if you will. Whenever you have a problem of any kind, whatever it may be, who do you say has the problem? You say, “I have a problem.” You’re referring to your body, aren’t you. You’re referring to your mind. But if you can catch yourself and say, “Who is this I, that thinks it has a problem?” You will realize that I never had a problem. The body appears to have a problem. Only you are not your body. You have absolutely nothing to do with your body. Try to remember this all of the time. Your body is under the law of karma. There is no karma, there is no body. But as long as you believe you’ve got a problem, is because you believe you are the body. You therefore have to work from that point. And realize, my body is under its own laws and rules of karma, it has absolutely nothing to do with me, I am absolutely free. When you look at it this way you become the witness to your body. You become the witness to your thoughts. It happens by itself. You do not say, “I am the witness.” You say, “The witness is observing my body. It has to be an “I” to observe, where did that I come from? What is the source of that I?” Find out. But if you use the other method, say for instance, somebody’s suing you in court. So you say, “I’ve got a problem because somebody’s suing me.” If you respond physically and you worry and you fear and you believe something is wrong, then you may win the court case or lose the court case. But whatever you do, you’ve not risen higher than the problem. Which means you’re going to have to repeat it again and again until you get to the point where you do not react to the condition. Now what do I mean by not react. Do you ignore the summons to go to court? No, you don’t. (students laugh) You do what has to be done. When you go to court, but you realize, “Who’s going to court? My body is. My body’s going to court, but who is my body? There is no body. There is no court. It’s all an illusion. It is, really” (students laugh) And then, really, if you look at it that way, something good is going to happen. (more laughter) Strange as it may seem you will overcome and transcend that predicament. But if you don’t if you react like everybody else does with fear, and say, “I’m not guilty. I didn’t do it.” Then you’ve got a problem. You’re going to have to repeat that condition over and over again, as I mentioned before until you’re able to realize that nothing has ever happened to I. I is free. I has always been free. Now put yourself in the other position. Say somebody steals something from you and you sue them in court. And this time you’re the plaintiff. Again if you lower yourself to that position you may win the case and get a judgement. But that does not end the condition for you karmically. It means karmically your body’s going to go through it again and again and again. If you check the court records you’re going to find something very interesting. You’re going to find that the people who sue and get sued, come to court again and again. They’re always in some kind of trouble, they’re always suing and they’re always being sued. It’s the same people.(laughs) It’s the same people that go round and round and round. They’re on a treadmill and they never get off. The same with a doctor or dentist. If you look through the doctors records and the dentists records, it’s the same people coming back all the time. Once in a while you get a new patient. But once you get hung up with doctors and dentists you keep going back again and again and again. They make sure you do. Have you ever gone to a dentist when they haven’t found anything wrong with you. There’s always a filling you need. And if you don’t have one they’ll make one. (students laugh) Because that’s how they make their money. What I’m trying to say is don’t get stuck on that level. Raise yourself in consciousness. By asking yourself, “Who’s going through this? I am. Who is I? Am I my body? Am I my mind?” Find out. Who you are really. When the realization comes and that you are not your body everything will be resolved in an amicable way for all concerned. Why? Due to the fact, that consciousness is harmony and bliss. If you become consciousness, you can only experience harmony and bliss. And that includes your body also, due to the fact that you have no body. So what appears as a body becomes harmonious and blissful to you. To other people you may look like you’re dying. But as far as you’re concerned there’s nobody there to die. There’s nobody there to have a problem. This is something practical you can work with. The realization again is that everything is attached to the I. Everything, the courthouse, the plaintiff, the defendant, the summons, the doctors and dentists. It’s all part of the I. Therefore don’t try to change the things with the effects. Go to the cause and ask yourself, “Why am I going through all this?” And the answer will be, “Because you’re a jerk.” (students laugh) “You won’t accept the I.” (more laughter) So you have to go through this again and again and again until you do. And that’s what happens. You have one experience after the other and you’re identifying your I with the condition, aren’t you? And you’re saying, aren’t you, “I’m going through this condition. I’m experiencing this.” But that’s not true, that’s false identification. I, am apart from the body phenomena. My body doesn’t listen to the I. Remember your body is under its own laws. Your body does what it likes. Does it ask your permission to do anything? Of course not. When you have to go to the bathroom does the body ask the “I,” can it go to the bathroom? It makes you feel that you have to go to the bathroom. When you catch a cold, does the body ask the permission of “I” to catch a cold? Of course not. It catches a cold. But the mistake has been that you’ve identified the “I” with the body. Now you know that “I” is not the body, I is consciousness, I is parabrahman, I is ultimate oneness, I is sat-chit-ananda and that is your real nature. Any questions about that? SR: I have a few questions, getting back to the problem, you know we started this with talking abut the problem. Buddha’s first noble truth, you know, “That life is suffering?” It seems like there’s always a problem, but like Ramana said the real trick is to find out who the problem is, so the appearance of these things like the summons or the traffic ticket or whatever, you know, it’s a problem in one sense and in another sense it’s really grace. It seems like. (R: It’s grace if you realize the “I.”) Yeah, I mean it only turns you in eventually because sooner or later because you know you can get tired of dealing with it on another level I think. R: Unfortunately what happens Richard is most people never get tired. (laughter) They go through life after life after life after life until they will awaken one day which is true. (SR: Maybe it will happen but we just want to be around for others?) (laughs) But ultimately it will happen. But if they would get their “I” together then they wouldn’t have to go through all that. So think about your problems. Do you have any problems, think. And don’t you say, “I have the problem?” Now can you see your mistake? I has no problem whatsoever. I is completely free. Abide in the I. Grab hold of the I. And the work you do again is you ask, “To whom does this come? To me.” Me is the same as I. You hold on to the sense of me. Remember it’s only a sense of me. Me doesn’t exist. And you follow it to its source. How do you follow it to its source? Through silence. When you ask, “What is the source of me?” You keep silent. And the answer will come by itself. Remember you never answer the question because it’s your ego answering. Whatever answer you come to in your mind, it comes from your ego. In this process we’re trying to annihilate the mind and the ego together. And the only way to annihilate the mind and ego is through silence. When there are no thoughts, there’s no mind. When you try to evaluate your problem and resolve it, your mind is making a lot of noise. Therefore you can never resolve your problem really. You may stop it for a time but it will continue again and again, and come back in different ways to haunt you. As an example: A person has a tumor in the neck. Instead of finding the cause of the tumor they go to a surgeon. And the surgeon grabs a sharp little knife and says, “I want to cut this out” and of course you let the surgeon cut it out. Because after all he or she is a surgeon, they know and they’ve got sharp knives. But what happens later. A month later the tumor grows back on the other side of the neck. So you go back to the surgeon and you say you need a head transplant. (laughter) And he cuts off that tumor, so now you’ve got two big scars. A month later it grows back on your arm and you go on and on like that. Due to the fact the surgeon didn’t try to find the cause he merely tried to get rid of the effect. And that’s the same thing you do when you try to resolve your problems. You’re working with effect, not with the cause. The cause is consciousness. And when you identify with the cause, the problem disappears of its own accord due to the fact that it never really existed and you become free. So, if you’re having trouble sitting in the silence, when you follow the I. When you ask, “From whence does this I come,” and you abide in the I and you abide into silence, but you have trouble sitting in the silence, then you should begin practicing the mantra, “I – I,” and say that to yourself over and over again, “I – I, I – I, I – I.” This will keep your mind from thinking. It will help to make your mind empty. So you can sit in the silence without thinking. You have to do something. Again do not get down to the level of the problem. That’s no way to solve a problem by getting down to its level. Merely rest in the I. The I will lead you to silence and in the silence there’s consciousness. There’s pure intelligence and absolute awareness, there’s emptiness, there’s nirvana. You will experience all these phrases of consciousness. If you follow the I to its source. Any questions about that? SD: I’ve got a question but I can’t think how to phrase it. You’ve taught us that by selfinquiry if you follow the I-thought you will find that ultimately there is an no I. And assuming that that’s so, you’ve also given us a mantra to still the mind that says, as you breath in, “Who am I?” and then as you pause, “I am pure consciousness” and exhale, “I am not the body.” Well, who is the ‘I’ who is pure consciousness if there is no I? (R: Your Self. You are.) So the problem seems to be a matter of semantics with our language because it seems to me like you’re talking about two different “I’s?” R: There’s the ‘I’ which is the personal-I and there’s the “I” which is consciousness. (SD: So the ‘I’ that is the personal I is the one that disappears.) Yes, and then the ‘I’ remains as I-am. (SD: But I thought that you said that the ‘I’ disappeared all together?) The personal “I” disappears all together. (SD: But not the real “I”?) There is a real “I” as far as it goes. But who needs a real “I”? (laughter) (SD: Well in the phrase I-am pure consciousness, who is that “I”? God. (SD: But we’re still using the pronoun, I?) Because you can’t do any better than that. (laughter) (SD: So that’s what I mean it’s semantics more or less.) You can call it semantics. You follow the personal I, it turns into I-am. I-am is consciousness and then there’s silence. What you want to achieve is the silence. In other words you don’t want to go around saying, “I’m the real I, I’m the real I.” Otherwise it’s like a tree saying, “I’m a tree, I’m a tree.” (SD: Right.) But for your own good and for your own practice it turns into the real I-am and the real I-am is silence, quietness. There are no thoughts. SH: So beyond the phrase, “I-am pure consciousness” is silence? R: I am pure consciousness is synonymous with silence, it’s the same thing. But when you want to express the silence you express it as pure consciousness. Feel how happy you are when you’re not thinking at all, when your thoughts are very few. The fewer the thoughts the happier you become. The trouble begins when you think a lot. That’s why I always say, “Do not think past your nose.” As soon as you see the thoughts coming out, immediately stop them, by asking yourself, “To whom do they come? To me,” abide in the me, hold on to the me. Follow it to its source. Which is I-am or silence or quietness. Then there’s total happiness, unbroken happiness, unalloyed happiness. Total peace and bliss and joy, which never goes away. What do you think of that? SH: Sounds okay. (Robert laughs) SV: The sense of “I” you’re talking about holding onto the sense of “I?” (R: Yes.) Is that the most I could possibly do humanly? (R: No, of course not.) As far as practice goes? R: There are a lot of things you can do humanly. You can take a cold shower. (SV: No I mean practice wise.) Yeah, you can take a cold shower, it helps you. Because a cold shower changes your metabolism and makes you more aware. Try it. (SV: I don’t like cold showers.) That’s the object. (SV: Sorry?) That’s just it. If you take one, say you’re feeling out of sorts and you’re feeling depressed, if you take a cold shower the depression will go away. (SV: Well you forget about it.) Well you forget about it? (SD: Well you forget about the depression because you’re so cold. (laughs) That’s it sure, many changes come. But then it gives you time to practice. Whereas before you couldn’t practice because you were too depressed. But now the depression lessens because you took a cold shower and you’re able to practice. You’re able to go within. Whereas before it was virtually impossible to do. You were too caught up in the problem. Or you can become the witness and just observe your depression. Observe you actions, just watch, look, intelligently, systematically. Watch your thoughts. Become aware of your thoughts. Aware of your feelings and do nothing. That also quiets your mind. Everything you do, all of your sadhana is to quiet the mind. To make the mind still. That’s what you really want. Therefore use whatever method you have to in order to still the mind. There’s nothing really profound about it, it’s simple, you want to quiet the mind. When the mind is quiet. Your real nature ensues all by itself. Everything happens by itself. But when your mind is noisy, then it appears that you have to work, diligently, to do something to change your consciousness. Whereas in truth, there very little you have to do. Simply practice self-inquiry or bhakta. Become a bhakta, where you surrender completely to God. When you say, “Not my will but thine” and you totally surrender. In other words, you give God your life and your affairs and your problems. But you remember not to give an outside God that. There’s no outside God. You’re giving it to God within yourself and then you become that God yourself. They both lead to freedom, to liberation. You’ve got all kinds of choices to make and believe me, that’s the only choice you’ve got. The choice not to react to anything and to turn within whatever you choose. That’s the only freedom you’ve got. Everything else is karmic. Good. SG: Robert, who has the choice? R: The Self. The Self is self-contained. It gives you a choice, as a body, to find out you’re not the body. You’re doing it all by yourself. I’m talking about the ego-self. (SG: The ego self doesn’t exist?) Of course not, but you believe it does because you’ve got the problem. (SG: That’s true.) As long as you’re experiencing problems. Do not walk around saying the ego doesn’t exist. If the ego does not exist, there would be no need to solve the problem. But as long as you feel you have a problem to solve then you may know the ego still exists for you. If we all knew there was no ego, then this whole conversation will be redundant. The reason we’re talking is because some of us believe we’ve got an ego. Even though we say we don’t. That’s why it’s not wise to walk around saying, “I am Brahman, I am consciousness, I am pure awareness” while you’re hurting and you believe there’s something wrong with your life or something is not going right with your life. As long as you can feel and see that there is something wrong with your life, no matter what it is, no matter how righteous you think you are, then you must know you’ve got an ego and a body. Then you’ve got to work with the laws of karma to get rid of it. And that’s where you practice loving kindness, joy, purity, eating a satvic diet and doing all the things that they teach you in yoga. But when the time comes, when you become realized it doesn’t give you license to make an idiot out of yourself and that’s something else we should discuss. There are many people walking around today, who believe they’re realized and they’re doing all kinds of foul things. And they say it doesn’t matter. They justify by believing, “I can do anything I like because nothing exists.” But even if you had that thought it shows you’re not enlightened. Because if you were, there would be no one to think like that. Do you see? Thoughts like that don’t even enter your mind. That I can do anything I want. (laughs) You’re contradicting yourself, you’re saying “I.” The “I” still exists for you. For you’re saying I can do anything I like because I don’t exist. If you didn’t exist you wouldn’t pose that question. SV: Because it relates to the body? R: Of course. So that’s how we fool ourselves. But there are many people I used to know in other States and other countries, that really used to believe that they’re enlightened. And one wound up in jail, one committed suicide, because they think this gave them license to do whatever they like. And believe me, when realization comes, you become very compassionate. You become the embodiment of humility. You become a joy for others, without thinking those things. It happens by itself. And there’s no question about being enlightened or by not being enlightened. You don’t think you’re enlightened. Those words disappear. Those thoughts disappear. There’s no such thing as being enlightened. That’s just for the ajnani to consider, being enlightened or not being enlightened. But the point is: You do not go around committing foul deeds. I know somebody in the class. He’s not here today. But he goes to porno movies all the time, and that’s neither good nor bad. But he claims it doesn’t matter because who’s seeing the movie? (laughter) That’s how he justifies it. So if somebody tells me that, I don’t even bother to answer. We’ve got to be real careful. We have to be careful because this path, of Jnana Marga does not give you restrictions or rules and regulations. It only tells you to find the I. That’s it. And everything will take care by itself. But be real careful. If you have all kinds of bodily feelings and urges and you think you’re enlightened forget it. It’s true that some of the people have read the book, “The divine mad man.” I don’t know if you’ve read it or not but I used to lend it to people. And that’s a mistake because people take it literally. They think if you’re enlightened you can go around doing all kinds of things to people, for the sake of their enlightenment. Don’t even think of that. Because that person we read about in that book is so far advanced, we can’t possibly imagine how he thinks. But many people try to emulate him. Be careful. Any questions about that? Yes? SR: Speaking of bodily urges. (laughter) You’re saying that’s a sign of those, is a sign that you’re not enlightened? R: People ask me usually, “Well how do you feel when you become self-realized?” And I always make the statement, “You become more human.” Which means you expand, you become sort of omnipresent with love. Your feeling of love multiplies. Your feeling of humility increases a thousand fold. And you feel as if you are the body of the whole human race. You are the body of the universe. So the urges you get, are loving urges. Urges of humility, compassion, loving kindness. All the other urges are bodily urges. If you’re realized they go away. (S: (Students asks about bodily urges.)) It changes, it modifies them. There’s a lot of controversy about that. But you still can use your body and still have sex if you want to, but the feelings completely different. It’s beyond humanity and you cannot describe it, it’s ineffable. SD: Is that why Maharshi I believe said that you can be married or unmarried, rich or poor and still be realized? (R: Exactly, it has nothing to do with that.) So if you were married presumably you would still have bodily, human like… (R: Some would and some wouldn’t. It depends.) But you said that it would be different or more transcendental? (R: It would be totally different.) SR: Robert, along these lines, in particular this day for me, in that area due to meeting someone I’ve known for a while and it was real interesting what happened. It was a very good feeling of being confined in a small space, you know what I mean? Kind of a different energy and then all of a sudden it just changed a couple of hours ago to this feeling of just being totally at home and secure in the universe. And I was listening to this beautiful music and it kept saying, “Passing through life like a child never knowing the reason, I’ve never strayed far from home,” something like that. It seems like that was the answer to everything was, “Where is home?” Because those feelings had to take you out and away from where you really are. And when that sort of happened it was most peaceful and quiet that my mind’s ever been I think. (R: That’s good.) A lot of release that’s why I’m laughing a lot. (R: That sounds good.) But it was like – I had been talking to Jim about it earlier because it was kind of an intense experience for me, and there’s a real desire to sort of be human in a certain way. R: Well you shouldn’t really deprive yourself. SR: Yeah, but even more so, kind of more like a certain sense of wanting to be indulgent but in a different way than ever before, you know. Like totally being one with the experience that one has, you might say, and even if they only happen in my mind, you know? (R: Umm.) And that’s what seems to facilitate, it’s like all of a sudden it’s like an explosion, feeling really good was that I quit judging it or trying to just stay back. (R: That’s it, yes.) Yeah you know, it’s like whatever was happening, even if it was a fantasy that was reality too. R: That’s it. What I was trying to say before, is you do not think about it. (SR: Yeah.) There are no thoughts saying should I or shouldn’t I. There’s just the experience. It’s beyond words or thoughts. This is why I say all the time, when you get to that stage it’s ineffable. There are no words to describe it. So we keep silent and we do not say anything and that describes it better. So when I say we become more human, I mean you expand. You take in the entire universe and you realize that everything is the Self and I am that. But that becomes meaningful to you. You do not use the words like I just mentioned. You just know it. You perceive that that’s the way it is. But there are no words going through your mind. There are no longer words like should I or shouldn’t I, am I right or am I wrong, is this good or is this bad. Just by being you, you are an asset to the human race, to the universe, to everything. But there are no words to describe it. There are no laws that you have to follow and no rules that you have to follow. But yet it’s virtually impossible for you in that state to hurt anybody. You’re beyond being hurt and you’re beyond hurting anybody. It’s a state of total humility, total compassion and total loving kindness. (SR: It didn’t sound like motivation or any sense of intention too, it seems like.) Yes, that’s true, because there is nobody there to be motivated. (SR: Right. And for anybody to be hurt or affected by it.) That’s the ego of course. Only the ego can be affected or hurt or motivated. But when there’s no ego there’s nothing to think. And the doer is gone. So whatever you do is automatic, spontaneous. And it’s an asset to the human race as I said, and hurts nobody. So again, if you still have to think is it right or wrong or if you still have to think am I hurting somebody, am I making the right decision, then you may know your ego is alive and well. SK: But at the same time isn’t it good to go through those processes until ones ego is gone? R: To watch yourself, to observe yourself, to be the witness to that which is happening. And that again leads to silence. (SV: Otherwise you’re caught up in the game again.) Of course, do not react to it. SR: Robert in my case there was a lot of fear of hurting somebody that was causing like a real compact – you know like memories were still really involved. And it seemed like what I was trying to do about it was to find somewhere where I could be safe and then as soon as I realized that was hopeless, then the whole thing seemed to revert to a completely different – it’s like the world shifted entirely. It’s like the fear of being hurt or would I hurt somebody was a memory that – it was almost like living a past way. R: Well that experience lets you know that you’re half baked.) (laughter) (SR: What’s that?) You’re half baked. (Tape break. Tape continues with student questioning Robert’s experience.) SH: …how old were you Robert? (R: Fourteen.) SD: But you had other spiritual experiences even before that? R: Yes I did. And then after that I spent the rest of my life confirming, what I felt. I didn’t know any names like I do now. (SH: You have been bereft from the ego since you were fourteen?) You can call it that if you like, because in order for me to sit here and talk to you, I had to learn the names of these things, like ego, consciousness, abidance in the Self. I was just that before, but there was no name to it. Now I’ve given it names. SD: That was like Maharshi had no formal education in religion, but he could respond and talk about the scriptures. R: That’s right, yes, well what he did afterwards, is people gave him all the scriptures when he was in the cave. They used to bring him all kinds of books and he glanced through them and read them and go through it. And it confirmed his feelings. (SD: I mean because he’d already understood them being realized.) Yes. So he was able to talk to them. SG: But is there a need to confirm or is it just a part of the body-mind? R: There was no need but I used to think I was insane. I used to think there was something wrong with me because I just didn’t respond. SK: You didn’t then do a deliberate sadhana to get to that place because you didn’t even know it existed? (R: Exactly.) It happened and you didn’t even know what happened? R: I had no idea whatsoever. (SV: When you say that you thought you might be insane, of course you weren’t suffering with that, you just…?) No, except I saw people in a different light. And they all responded to different things than I was. So I was sort of left out. Therefore I wanted to investigate what’s going on. SN: But Robert is that why some people have to do sadhana and some people don’t? R: It depends on your karma that doesn’t exist, everybody’s different. But selfrealization comes to everyone the same way basically. But if you have to do sadhana, you have to do sadhana. As long as you believe you’re the ego or the body or the mind, then you have to do sadhana. And that helps you to become quiet and still. And when you’re quiet and still, realization comes of its own accord. (SN: People that don’t have to do sadhana are reaping the fruition of their karma?) You can say that. SH: In your case you didn’t have to do any sadhana. You’re like a patriarch in the Zen tradition. (Robert laughs) You heard of the daya sutra being recited on the street corners of China and that was it. (R: That’s about the size of it.) Yeah (Students discuss the fifth patriarch of the zen tradition.) SN: If a person has no ego, do they know that? R: No, because there’s no one left to know. There has to be a knower, to know whether you’ve got an ego or not. But when there’s no knower there’s no ego. You’re just empty. There’s just plain emptiness. (SN: So as long as you think that you don’t have an ego…?) Then you’ve got an ego. (students laugh) SR: So it’s a state of not knowing yourself really? Not knowing you’re even there. (R: That’s it.) Like that song, “A child passing through never knowing the reason.” (R: True.) SV: So there’s awareness, but there is no ego in that particular body-mind? R: There isn’t even awareness, because who is left to be aware. There’s nothing. (SV: And yet you’re expressing the fact that there’s no ego there?) Yes. (SV: My mind boggles.) Once again we go back to the sky is blue. (laughter) There’s no sky and there’s no blue, if you investigate. So if you investigate yourself, you will ultimately find that you never existed. (SV: Until that’s discovered…) Then you do the sadhana. (SV: You acts as if you’re doing different sadhanas?) Exactly that’s why you have all these techniques. SN: While you’re doing the sadhana, you’re not affirming, in other words you’re not trying to logically find it. You’re actually trying to let go. R: You do it in reverse. You negate the world and the universe. And what’s left over is your reality. (SN: So it’s not a matter of understanding at all.) No. (SN: Once you try to understand it that’s the problem.) There has to be somebody to understand. But if you get rid of that somebody then understanding is not necessary. SH: How can there be understanding without the one who understands? R: Well there’s nothing to understand.) (SH: Like the witnessing without the witnesser?) That’s true. (SH: Understanding without being receptive to understanding.) But again, there’s nothing to understand and there’s nothing to witness. There’s just nothing. But nothing is everything. (SH: Here we are throwing semantics all around here and catching it.) Yes, that’s what it amounts to. That’s why the silence is the best teacher. When you get to that stage, silence. When you’re questioning yourself and you get to the stage we just discussed, don’t argue with yourself. Just keep still, keep quiet and you’ll be amazed at what happens. SG: I keep getting to the point where I can’t grasp it, where it doesn’t make sense. R: Then just keep still, be still. Be still and know that I am God. When you’re still the I-am knows itself as God. SD: Being still seems to be hard Robert. (Robert laughs) Stilling your mind, you know. Your mind is so busy. R: It appears to be. But if you use the processes I share with you, you’ll get there. You can’t lose with the stuff I use. (students laugh) SR: Today it seems like I had a problem and I could approach this in sort of a casual way. I was down at Santa Monica as the sunset was coming and I was walking around and I noticed the mind was agitated. Then I sat down and started basically quietening down and the beauty of it was unbelievable. The mind started gradually getting more quiet and quiet and quiet, but then it started again when I got up. So I came here and I drove in the traffic and instead of using that technique of starting with the outer and gradually working to the inner. I quickly noticed I went into a dream world, as soon as I started thinking that everything was a dream world. And that silenced the mind and it was like a total silence and it stayed for about the last hour and it was totally effortless way. And I’ve never seen that sort of approach before, but it was a kind of recognition that my reaction is to always go away from the silence. And as soon as I acknowledged that the silence was there. Because the other way was kind of like almost, you know stop the vibrations of things and gradually bring them to a quieter place. R: Everyone is unique. If that process works for you, use it, that’s good. I’ll never tell you to change anything, if it’s working for you. If it quiets your mind it’s good. Anything that quiets your mind is good, any technique. But the fastest way is through selfinquiry. SN: When you do self-inquiry, it’s not really a matter of cause and effect though is it? R: No, it goes beyond that.) (SN: Is it karmic?) Self-inquiry?) (SN: No as I said, when you do self-inquiry it’s not whether you get a result it’s not a matter of cause and effect?) You’re not looking for a result. (SN: But what if something transpires?) Nothing really transpires. (SN: Nothing transpires?) (laughter) You’re simply asking yourself, “Who believes all this? Who needs anything to transpire?” It all goes back to your ego. SN: But I’m saying whether it’s not a matter of cause and effect, It’s not a matter of, “Well I do self-inquiry therefore I get this,” it’s more a matter of, “If self-inquiry works I get lost as the Self.” R: It’s a matter of becoming quiet. It’s a matter of emptying your mind. But through self-inquiry it’s the fastest way, when you ask yourself, “Who has to empty the mind?” And you realize that you have no mind to empty. There never was any mind and you become free. Do not make it complicated. Keep it as simple as possible. Just follow the I to the source and say, “I – I,” if you have to, “I – I, I – I.” If you use that method you’ll notice that the space between “I – I,” becomes greater and greater and it’s in that space that you have to merge with. Between the I, I. It’s like when you get up in the morning, before you become awake, that’s realization. It’s unconscious realization. But try to catch yourself tomorrow morning. As soon as you open your eyes before you have a chance to think, in that split second you’re realized, that’s realization. But try to be conscious of it. And hold onto it during the day. The same thing happens before you fall asleep. The moment before you fall asleep, you’re realized. If you can catch yourself and hold onto it, then you’re in your Self. That’s it. And you’re at peace. (SN: When you say, “Try to be conscious of it,” who’s conscious?) You are conscious. (SN: The ego?) The ego, yes, you have to work with the ego-mind. (SN: So the ego’s conscious of its non existence?) The ego’s conscious of its place before you wake up or before you go to sleep, you become conscious of it. And then the ego disappears and only consciousness prevails. SD: And that moment will be perfect stillness, is that right? R: Yes. The mind is quiescent and no thoughts have come yet. SH: Becoming conscious of the ego, stills it? R: Becoming conscious, the ego becomes conscious of the quietness and the ego disappears. You do not become conscious of the ego. (SH: No that would just feed it, strengthen it?) Yes. SU: I’d like to become more conscious of and to just stay as the I-am in the midst of everyday activities. R: If you practice the mantra “I – I,” at night and in the morning, you will find that during the day, you’re more calm and more peaceful. It’ll happen by itself. SU: So often after I’ve been involved in activities, I’ve completely forgotten to bring everything back, I realize that I have been asleep. That I have not been able to bring it back and I can feel how different everything can be if it happens. If I’m quiet it’s not so hard to feel this. R: Yes of course. But never be angry at yourself. Never condemn yourself. Never think you made a mistake. Rather observe yourself and realize what you’ve done in your mind, without condemnation and ask yourself, “Who wants me to experience this? I do. Who am I?” And again hold onto the I. If you want to you can imagine you’re holding on to a rope. The I is the rope. And you’re climbing down the rope to its end and that is the source of I. Then you let go of the rope and keep quiet and soon you will see what happens. You’ll find that you stop falling and your body just disappears and you’re in a space of bliss. SD: Letting go must be very frightening to the ego. R: Ah, in a way. But the ego is the rope. So you’re letting go of the ego. (SD: What about in the rare moments, when I do reach absolute stillness. It seems what often interferes even more than thought is the sensory perception like a sound, yeah sounds is the most frequent I get.) You have to go beyond that. You have to inquire, “To whom is this sound coming to?” And again you go back to I. It comes to me. Hold on to the me. (SD: So you say, “Who hears this? Who’s distracted?”) Whatever comes go beyond it. By inquirying, “To whom it comes?” SN: If the “I” were to get a glimpse of the Self, if the ego were to get a glimpse of the Self and feel that peace wouldn’t it become inflated and think, “I’m at peace, I’m at peace?” R: No, because if the ego gets a glimpse of the Self it will disappear. (SN: I’m saying like without nirvikalpa samadhi but not a sahaja samadhi.) In nirvikalpa samadhi you feel peaceful and joyous while you’re in samadhi, but when you come out of it you become your old self again. (SN: Yeah but when you come out of it, into your old self wouldn’t the ego tend to think, like I experienced it therefore I am at peace.) If you’re inclined that way it would. But for some people it’s just a passing point. They realize that they’re experiencing nirvikalpa samadhi and I want to go further. (SN: Like a Trapur Maharsha?) Yes, everybody’s a little different, that’s why you should never compare yourself to anybody else. Never mind what gains anybody else is making, see yourself for what you are. Abide in the Self, love your Self, know your Self. Never put yourself down, never condemn yourself. No matter how many mistakes you make, do not condemn yourself. That’s what blasphemy is, when you condemn yourself. Because your Self is really God. Therefore you realize, that the ego’s been making mistakes, not God. And you inquire, “To whom do these mistakes come?” Then you go through the process again. “I’ve made the mistake again, I have.” Well, again the “I” has, not you. The I is the body, the I is the mind. But I am not that I, I-am I-am. SV: Could you say that sense of I that you cling to that sense of I that you’re saying to cling to? (R: Yes, what about it?) Is that feel kind of like love? What is it? I can’t really feel it out? R: Not really. What you cling to is your ego, in the beginning. You cling to the sense of your ego and you’re following it. The reason you’re clinging to it, is because you want to follow it to its source. It’s only when you get to the source… (SV: Like right now, I don’t know what it is, I can’t seem to find it?) (laughter) Then you don’t have it. (SV: I have this sense of love. What I’m saying is why not cling to that?) You can cling to that if it’s really love, then by all means still cling to it. Cling to love, hold on to it. (SV: It feels like love, for my Self even.) Hold onto it and see what happens. (SV: …and it feels like it’s very peaceful.) Hold onto it and see what happens. SK: But the “I” is the non-self? (R: Because you’re holding on to the self. You’re holding on to…) Other than being the self? SV: It’s not even like holding onto it, it’s more like it’s right there? I’m really not holding onto it, it’s just allowing it to be there. (R: Do you know it’s there?) Do I know it’s there? There doesn’t seem to be an I to know it’s there, it’s just there. R: Then it’s there, that’s good. That’s a good sign. SH: If it’s there why do you have to hold on to it? (R: That’s right.) SV: There’s no holding on to it. R: If the Self is there, there is never anything to hold onto. But if it’s the ego that thinks it’s the Self and is fooling it by imagining it’s love, then you have to hold on to it. SR: So your holding on is like just saying, don’t hallucinate that it’s not there anymore ina- sense, don’t put something in its place? R: Yes, as long as somebody feels, then you have to hold on. So you have to hold on until the feeling goes away, and you get to the source. (laughs) SK: So you’re holding on with the intention of who is experiencing it. (R: Yes.) You’re holding on to it with the objective of doing that process so it dissolves the ego too. R: Yes. All the holding on, all the ropes and all the things you’re holding on to, the ego, is all from the mind. It’s all a projection of your mind. When you really feel love, it’s indescribable. There’s no mind, there’s no projection. There’s nothing going out and there’s nothing coming in. And there’s nobody left to feel anything. SK: Are you really telling us what we’re experiencing all the time? (R: Yes.) SG: So you’re doing self-inquiry and you’re holding to the sense of I and the sense of I is associated very strongly with the body and anything that concerns the body are you holding to that too? (R: You’re holding on to the I because you want to go to its source.) If you really want to you can have that sense of the body and everything associated to it. R: Yes, that’s the I. You’re holding onto it, you’re not concentrating on it, you’re holding onto it. But you’re following it to the end, to the source. (SG: What’s the difference between holding onto and following it?) You simply observe it, you watch the I. You watch the I going down, down, down in the heart. (SK: The intention is to trace it to its source?) Trace it to its source. And it’s the source that you concentrate on, not the I. The concentration is done on the source, which means nothing, quietness, silence and everything disappears. SH: Well that’s different from holding onto the I? R: You’re holding onto the I that’s the ego. (SH: Why not let go?) Because if you let go you won’t be anywhere. (SH: That’s okay.) No it’s not okay, because if you let go of the I something else will come to take its place. (SH: Like what?) Another thought. (laughter) SK: You’ll think you are body in the world again. R: The idea is to hold onto it, follow it to the end, to the source. And then it disappears of its own accord. But do not delude yourself into thinking, I’m letting go of the I, because you just made the statement, “I’m letting go of the I.” There has to be somebody to let go. As long as there’s somebody, your still the I. SR: When you’re not doing this the forms will start to reappear with a sense of reality all their own and that’s how you know your in your mind. (R: Exactly.) And as soon as you get back to it, forms have no reality of their own, they become appearances. (R: Exactly.) Things are just moving on their own there’s no doing in the moment. (R: True, you’re doing all these things to get to the source, to the substratum of existence.) SF: Robert what’s the difference between the I that’s attached to something and the I that’s not attached to anything? R: The I that’s not attached to anything is really consciousness, it’s the I-am. The I that’s attached to anything is the ego. (SK: The little I is, “Life’s a bitch and then you die.”) (students laugh) (SF: Thank you.) True. SK: The ego is really when it’s I-am this or that, but when it’s just I it’s not the ego. (R: Right.) Ramana always said, “I” cannot stand alone that’s the ego, I am big, I am small, whatever, there’s always something with the I that you have the ego sense. R: Yes, When the I is by itself, it’s consciousness. (SK: Right.) But the way you get rid of your problems, again is to realize that they’re all attached to the I. And when you transcend the I, your problems will go too. Try that, tomorrow when you’ve got a problem, instead of relating to the problem, relate to the I. Follow the I and you’ll have no problem. SG: So you use the I as a sort of mantra? R: No, when you’re using the mantra you’re saying, “I – I.” But you do that after you follow the I to its source. And if other thoughts come after that, you use the mantra, “I – I, I – I” It will slow down your mind, it will keep you from thinking. SG: Following the I to its source, (R: To its source.) At the same time? (R: Yes.) SU: It’s been said that the I is really that the ego is a lie and is nothing but a bundle of thoughts, and when we see that way we’re trying to watch it, of course I can’t find the little I, so I think okay, so I’ll just watch the thoughts or sensations that’s there’s really no entity that you can call an I. And that If you’re going to watch something all you have to watch are the thoughts or bodily sensations. But it seems there’s still a gap, there’s something still watching. R: Because you didn’t ask yourself, “To whom comes the thoughts?” Ask yourself that question. “To whom do these thoughts come to?” SH: How does the little I arise in the first place? R: It doesn’t. (SH: It appears to?) It appears to. That’s why you call it the sense of I. (SH: How does that appearance occur?) It never occurs. (SH: You always wash it out.) Because it appears, It’s an optical illusion. It’s like saying, “How does the body occur?” We’re talking about getting rid of the body. But we’re talking about a body that doesn’t even exist. SF: The illusion of an identification that really cannot exist? R: Exactly. There is no body but it appears real. In the same instance, the small I also appears real. But there is no small I. (SN: So there’s like an identity crisis?) (laughter) That’s true. Always think of the optical illusion that you see, and compare it with that. Like the water in the desert that doesn’t exist. If you look down the rail tracks they both seem to turn into one. Ever seen that? It’s an optical illusion. In the same way, the appearance of the world, of the body, God, the universe, is an optical illusion. It doesn’t exist. It’s like a dream. Remember when you’re having a dream, you will sit there arguing that it’s real, just like we are now. In the dream we’re having a class and we’re going through the same thing as we’re going through now. Only you wake up and it’s all gone. So when you wake up out of this, it’ll be gone too. And you’ll be free. (laughter) SH: Who’s dreaming the dream? (R: Nobody.) SK: The optical illusion of the railroads is probably the only true optical illusion that I can think of. Because there’s two, but you see them as one. And everything is one in reality. So the optical illusion is true. (R: You can say that if you like.) SH: There’s nobody dreaming the dream, but the dream is being witnessed. R: The dream is being witnessed as an illusion. (SH: There is witnessing of the dream, no “witnesser” but there is witnessing of the dream.) There’s witnessing of the dream as long as you believe in the witness because that concept comes out of your mind. (SH: There is no witness there’s just witnessing.) Who’s witnessing? (SH: No one.) Exactly, that’s the answer. SK: Now are you happy? (SH: I was happy before.) (laughter) R: See we like to talk about witnessing and dreams and all that stuff, that’s just for the sake of making conversation. SG: So you watch the thoughts and you don’t let them get beyond the end of your nose? And then you go to the self-inquiry, the “Who’s this I and who’s watching themselves.” R: Yes, follow the I. (SG: Stay with the I and use it.) Like follow the leader. (SG: When you need to, but follow the I mostly.) Follow the I mostly, and realize the whole universe is attached to the I. Therefore when the I disappears everything else will go also. SH: This is just a game, it’s a way of just bamboozling itself, pretending it is what it isn’t. R: You’re right, that’s exactly what it is. Because nothing I said is true. (SH: I recognize that. (laughter) Why do we bother to listen to him?) Why am I here myself? (laughter) Who knows? (laughter) (SH: No, who cares?) (laughter) I never try to figure it out. SR: You know Robert, today it was funny because whenever I asked myself, “Who am I?” I always feel, I don’t care. And I felt that you just answered that, you know the feeling of that is incredibly deep. I don’t really care. R: But be careful about that, because in your everyday pursuits, you may not care about anything at all like somebody dying or you won’t try to help. (SR: So don’t make that personal you’re saying?) Don’t make it personal, right. But in reality there’s nobody to care. Who cares. (laughter) WHO CARES! SD: Why would consciousness need to occupy itself with a game? R: It doesn’t, that’s the illusion. (SK: If it doesn’t then it’s not.) Right, there’s nothing happening. (SK: Dana didn’t even ask that question either, did she?) True? Dana doesn’t exist. She appears to exist. What are you reading Nerada? (student looks up) What are you reading? (SN: Remember what I was reading to you that time when you were lying down in bed?) Oh yeah. Would you like to read it? SN: I was deciding. Well what I was reading was: It is certain that the nature of the mind is empty. Without any foundation whatsoever. Your own mind is insubstantial, like the empty sky. You should look at your own mind and see whether it is like that or not. Being without any view that decisively decides that it is empty, it is certain that self originated primal awareness has been clear and luminous from the very beginning. Like the heart of the sun, which is itself, self originated. You should look at your own mind and see whether it is like that or not. It is certain that this primal awareness, which is ones intrinsic awareness is unceasing. Like the main channel of a river that flows unceasingly. You should look at your own mind and see whether it is like that or not. It is certain that the diversity of movements arising in the mind are not apprehensible by memories. They are insubstantial breezes that move through the atmosphere. You should look at your own mind and see whether it is like that or not. It is certain that whatever appearances occur, all of them are self manifested. Like the images in a mirror, being self manifestations that simply appear. You should look at your own mind to see whether it is like that or not. It is certain that all of the diverse characteristics of things are liberated in their own condition. Like clouds in the atmosphere that has self-originated and self-liberated. You should look at your own mind to see whether it is like that or not. R: Thank you. S: Can you tell us who can see it and who can’t see it. SN: Self liberation to seeing with naked awareness. Translated by Reynolds. John Reynolds. I’ll read a little more: There exists no phenomena, other than that which arises from the mind. Other than the meditation that occurs, where is the one who is meditating. There exists no phenomena, other than that what arises from the mind. Other than the behavior that occurs, where is the one who is behaving. There exists no phenomena, other than that what arises from the mind. Other than the fruition that occurs, where is the one who is realizing the fruit. You should look at your own mind, observe it again and again. When you look upward into space of the sky outside yourself, if there are no thoughts occurring that are emanations being projected and when you look inward at your own mind inside yourself, if there exists no projectionist who projects thoughts by thinking them then your own subtle mind will become lucidly clear without anything being projected. Since the clear light of your own intrinsic awareness is empty, it is the dharma-kaya and this is like the sun rising in a cloudless illuminated sky. Even though this light cannot be said to possess a particular shape or form, nevertheless it can be fully known. The meaning of this or whether or not it can be understood is especially significant. (finishes reading) Nerada: I’ll read something from the Ashtravakra. By nature my mind is empty. Even in sleep I am awake. I think of things without thinking. All my impressions of the world have dissolved. My desires have melted away. So what do I care for money or the feeding senses, for friends or knowledge, or Holy books, liberation, bondage, what are they to me. What do I care for freedom? For I have known God the intimate Self. The witness of all things. Without a fool, within free of thought. I do as I please and only those like me understand my ways. SC: How can he think without thinking? R: There has to be somebody to think, for you to think, but when you’re above in an enlightened state, a realized state the thinking is spontaneous. You only think of whatever is present in the moment. That’s why I say you never think further than your nose. You think in the moment and that’s it. Then the thoughts just dissolve. SV: Robert is that a clear translation? (R: I don’t know?) It did seem like someone there saying that. The text before it sounded very transparent. R: It comes from a different source. But it’s pretty clear. He’s trying to explain it as an ego. Whenever somebody tries to explain something, there’s always the ego at work. How else can you explain it? There has to be an ego to explain it. That’s why the biggest benefit we get here at satsang is not what I say, but just by being here. (pause) If you truly wish to repent, just sit in silent meditation and see the perfect reality within. For all manners of error merely arise in erroneous thought. And like the morning dew before the rising sun can perfectly be eliminated through the benevolent light and wisdom. So let’s just stay quiet for a few minutes. (long silence then Robert resumes) …Peace. How is everybody feeling? Try to stay as peaceful as you are now, during your normal activities during the day. Do not take anything too seriously. Just observe the world going by and yet do not react to it. Watch everything, be alert, but leave it alone. Do not try to own anything and do not try to give up anything. Just be yourself. Have no feeling that I am the doer. Let your body go about its business, but you stay with the I and all will go well with you. Anybody like to say anything else? So the next time we’ll meet will be Sunday at 2 o’clock, right? SK: Is there ever a consideration from 9 in the morning till 12 noon? R: Nope, never considered that. (students laugh as tape ends)