Robert Adams

Satsang Recording

I Am

Advaita Satsang with Robert Adams
I Am

Robert: I see we have a few new people here. If you came to listen to a lecture, forget it. I am not a lecturer. If you came to listen to a sermon you’ll be disappointed. I do not give sermons. If you came to hear something profound, again you will be disappointed, because the only thing profound here is you. I am merely a mirror and what you see is what you get. Imagine if you will, that you’re looking into a mirror. Do you like what you see? Do you see divinity or do you see a sinner? Do you see a radiantly happy person, or do you see a miserable depressed person? Wherever you look you meet yourself. Whatever you see in the universe is nothing else but yourself. As a matter of fact, there is nothing but the Self. What do you see? Think about that. Chanting is very helpful to make you one-pointed, to put you into a state where you can absorb your own reality. So let’s do a little chanting together, shall we? (tape resumes after chanting) Have you ever wondered where everything comes from? Think about that. Where does everything come from? SM: The mind. Robert: The sun, the moon, the trees, the universe, everything. When you look at the variations of the world, the amount of insects, animals, the various animals, trees, vegetables, the variations of leaves, flowers, human beings, where do they all come from? How did they get here? Someone may say, God created them. Yet what do you know about God? Who is this God? Someone else may say, “Well, it’s consciousness. Everything comes out of consciousness.” How do you know? Have you had that experience? Someone else may say everything is Parabrahman, beyond God, beyond the infinite. How do you know? Have you experienced it? One of the best answers I had to that question was an answer that Ed gave me yesterday while I was talking to him. He said, “Robert, the more I see you, the less I know. I don’t know anything. I doubt everything.” And that’s profound. Because that’s the truth. To know something, you have to first know nothing. The more you think you know, the less you are. Yet where did all things come from? How can we explain it? Whatever you say caused it, what caused the cause? What is the explanation for life? It is infinite, but where does it really come from? I can answer that by telling you a story. When I was around ten years old my uncle took me to see a hypnotist. He was a pretty famous fellow at that time. He was also a magician. There must have been about four hundred people there, at Town Hall, downtown New York. He picked out certain people. He asked for volunteers first. I told my uncle, “Why don’t you volunteer?” He said, “Okay,” and he did. And there were about twenty-five volunteers who sat on chairs on the stage. He spoke to each one of them. He told most of them to go back to their seats. He picked five people out of the bunch. My uncle was one of them. He proceeded to hypnotize them and he made them all do funny things. But what I really remember is my uncle. When he was finished, before he unhypnotized everyone and brought them back to this reality, he said to my uncle, “When you come out of it, you will go back to your chair, but when I clap my hands, you will imagine there’s a black widow spider on your neck.” And I was really laughing. He clapped his hands first and my uncle came out of it, out of the trance, and he said, “Was I hypnotized? I doubt it.” He went back to his chair. The hypnotists started talking about something else. Then he stopped and clapped his hands. As soon as he did that, immediately, my uncle started squirming and slapping his neck. And he told me, “Robert, there is a spider on my neck. See where it is.” And he stood up and started wiggling and slapping himself all over. The hypnotist clapped his hands again and my uncle came back to the natural state, the human state. When I looked on his neck there was a red welch on his neck, like a spider bite. Where did that come from? There was no spider. Where did the bite come from? Who put it there? SJ: Did he get sick at all? (R: No.) His mind wasn’t that powerful then huh? R: He didn’t get sick at all. When the hypnotist clapped his hands everything came back to normal. But the welch, the red mark, was still there. The same power that caused the red mark to be there causes this universe to be here. In other words, no thing. There is no cause for this universe. Another illustration is this. There was a monk sitting in the classroom with his teacher, and the teacher is explaining, “All things come out of nothing.” And this monk was interrupting the class by saying, “How can that be, Master? That sounds impossible. How can that possibly be?” And the teacher said to the monk, “Do you see the fig tree outside the window?” “Yes, teacher.” “Go out and bring me a fig.” “Yes, teacher.” He proceeded to bring the fig and put it in front of the teacher. The teacher said, “Break open the fig,” he did. “What do you see?” “Why, thousands of seeds.” “Take one of these seeds and here’s a razor blade, and cut the seed open.” It took him a long time, but he did. And the teacher said, “What do you see?” Well, in a fig seed there is only a hollow. And the student said, “Nothing, teacher.” And the teacher said, “Correct.” The nothing that produced the fig tree is the same nothing that produced the universe. It’s an optical illusion. The universe does not exist as it appears. It’s an emanation out of your own mind. Yet the world appears real. How can it be an emanation? Well, how can my uncle’s neck become red, as if a spider bit him, there’s no spider? I’m sure many of you, when you were children, used to stand at the railroad tracks and look way down in the distance. It would appear as if both tracks became one, optical illusion. When you’re in the desert and you’re thirsty, you see an oasis with water, but as you investigate it closer, there’s nothing. No thing exists, it’s an illusion. This world appears to be a world of effects, no cause. The world is egoless. It didn’t come from anywhere. How can that be? Think about when you’re dreaming. Does your dream have a beginning? It just begins. Everything is already there. The trees are there, flowers are there, people are there, situations happen. Everything just begins. There is no beginning. There is no cause. Yet where did the dream come from? Psychiatrists and psychologists tell you the mind, the nerve impulses in the brain cause the dream. The world and the universe are just like a dream. But how does it affect you? Being a world of effects, the whole world is impersonal, totally impersonal, until you identify with certain situations and you make it personal. As an example, take a cold. A cold is impersonal when it doesn’t affect you, but you have been brainwashed to believe that you catch a cold. Therefore when people have a cold, instead of just watching and not identifying with the cold, something within you subconsciously from your upbringing believes a cold is normal and you say to yourself, “Everybody catches a cold.” And sure enough, you do also. I recall when I was about nine years also, I used to run out every day when it snowed in my t-shirt, and play in the snow. I would do this every day my mother didn’t see me. I had fun. I’d throw snowballs, build a snowman, yet I never caught a cold. One day my mom saw me going out in a t-shirt and she screamed at me, “Robert, get back in the house and put on your coat this instant or you’ll catch your death of cold.” Sure enough that day I caught a cold. Why? Because I identified with what my mom told me. After all she’s my mom, she must know what she’s talking about. Let’s take something else, a cancer. What we call cancer, again, is impersonal. Yet when some of us identify with it we appear to have it also. If we looked at cancer like we do a cold, the cancer would disappear by itself. Yet what is the first thing that comes to your mind when you’ve been diagnosed as having cancer? Death, and so you start deteriorating. But in reality there are no cancers. There are no colds. There’s nothing but consciousness. Yet, you are seeing the world, you are believing the world and you are identifying with the world. It’s not the world or any condition that has come upon you. You have created your own condition by what you have accepted, believed, and identified with. Take a look at your life right now. Think what’s going on in your life. Are you happy, are you miserable, are you healthy, are you sick, are you rich, are you poor? Doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is everything you are is what you have identified with, somewhere, somehow. There is no power outside of your Self. There is no world outside of your Self. There is no creation outside of your Self. There is no universe outside of your Self. There is no God outside of your Self. You have given birth to all of these things. You are playing a game with yourself. You’re putting on an act. Why? Ask yourself. This is called, in Sanskrit, leela, the grand illusion, the grand play, or maya, which is the grand illusion. You identify with the world and you suffer accordingly. Think about what’s hurting you right now, what upsets you and makes you angry. Something you have to do, something that’s going on at home. It makes no difference what it is. The fact remains that you’re giving it power because you are identifying with it. Now to solve that problem all we have to do is to change identification. We have to start identifying with the reality. But you say, “I don’t know what the reality is.” Then all you’ve got to do is to get rid of that which is not the reality, and the reality will come by itself. In other words you have to realize and start working on yourself. By knowing that I am not the world, I am not the physical universe, I am not my situation, I am not my body or my mind. Therefore who am I? That is the question. You never answer. You merely remove the obstacles, for you can never really know who you are by verbalizing it. It is only in the silence that the ultimate truth comes to you. It is only when your mind becomes quiescent, calm, like a motionless lake. A motionless lake reflects the stars, the moon, the sun. But a lake that’s noisy, vibrating, reflects absolutely nothing. In the same instance, a being whose mind has become motionless, whose mind has become calm, relaxed, peaceful, begins to reflect their own divinity, begins to reflect pure awareness, nirvana, emptiness. That always comes by itself. The ultimate reality is already there. You do not have to search for it. No one can give it to you. You have simply to remove the things of the world. A person asks, “Am I to give up the world? Am I to give up my profession, my family, and go and meditate in a cave?” Of course not. You are to give up these things mentally, not physically. Physically you give up nothing, but mentally you begin to realize, “Everything in my life is an emanation of my own mind.” As you start to give up these things mentally, by realizing, “I am not my body, I am not my mind, I am not the world, I am not any condition,” you will notice you become calmer and calmer, happier and happier. Yet your body will continue to do whatever it came here to do. But the things will be done better, for you are not interfering with them. You are no longer interfering in trying to make things happen. As an example say you’re a salesman. Before you used to plan and scheme how you’re going to make the sale. But with this new knowledge there is no one to plan and there is no one to scheme for your mind is becoming empty. Yet your body will continue it’s work of being a salesman, and because there was no one to interfere, you will become a super salesman. Why? Because the real nature of the universe is total joy and total bliss. That is your real nature, for you are the universe. And, as you get yourself out of the way, the same power that appears to grow the grass, that causes the flowers to bloom, that grows oranges on orange trees, will take care of you. You have nothing to fear. How do you start? By realizing you know nothing. Not by trying to be smart and recite affirmations that you learnt in a book, but to realize, “I know absolutely nothing. I have no idea how a tree got here. It just appeared. What came first, the seed or the tree? I don’t know. How did Henry’s dog get here? Where did his dog come from? Where did the first dog come from? Nobody knows. Where did the earth come from, the moon, the stars?” You have to admit to yourself divine ignorance, that you know absolutely nothing. That’s how it begins. This is also why the great Sage Lao Tze said, “The more you talk, the less you know. The less you say, the more you know.” Why? Because when you talk you’re talking about the world and worldly things. What else do you talk about? And since the world doesn’t really exist the way you think it does, then you don’t know too much. But the less you say, it means you’re beginning to go within, to dive deep within yourself, where your reality is. Then you begin to become your reality itself. That’s how it begins, by saying, “I know nothing.” The next step is to realize that you exist. That’s the only thing I’m sure about, I exist. Who exists? I do. Well, who is this I that seems to exist? Where did it come from? I don’t know. Who doesn’t know? I. We’re back to I. So something within you begins to tell you that I is responsible for everything I believe. Where did I come from? Who am I? You begin to search for the source of the I. You do not affirm where the source is. There is no use affirming the source is consciousness if you have not experienced it, but what you do is you follow the I to its source. How do you do this? By asking yourself “Who am I?” or “What am I?” Taking a pause and asking yourself again, “Who am I?” As you keep practicing this something very interesting is going to ensue. You are going to find that you’re becoming happier and happier, that you’re acquiring a feeling of immortality. You don’t know why. You just feel it. All these truths become revealed to you. You start to understand that there never was a time when you were born, and you don’t even prevail now as a body. There will never be a time when you disappear. You, as consciousness, has always existed as pure awareness, as absolute reality. This will all come to you. You will try to share this with your friends and your relatives, yet you will not be able to, for there are no words that can describe it. What has happened to you is you have merged in consciousness. You have become the Self and you realize that the whole universe is none other than yourself. There are not two selves, or three selves or four selves. There is only one Self and you are that. It becomes very clear and very evident to you. Then you become an asset to the world, for you treat everyone as you would treat yourself. This is all done automatically. I’m trying to use words to explain it. When it happens to you those words become foreign. You become a living embodiment of consciousness. Consciousness is your real nature. What you think you are now does not exist. It is mass hypnosis. The situations you are involved in are false. Nothing is as it appears to be. Therefore begin to work on yourself. Find out if what I’m saying is true. Do not believe a word I say. Experiment on yourself. You do not have to go anywhere. Just where you are yourself at home, begin to spend more time diving within yourself, watching, witnessing. When thoughts pop up, simply ask yourself, “To whom do these thoughts come? To me. I think them. Who am I? What is the source of the I?” As you do this, my friends, I can assure you a marvelous change will take place in your life, sooner or later, and you will become free. No one is doing anything to anyone. We are not the body or the mind, either subjective, or objective or universal. It only appears that way to you when you’re dreaming the mortal dream. But when you wake up that no longer exists. SL: How do we know that we were always here and that we will always be here. Isn’t that just a theory? R: It’s a theory if you have not experienced it. (SL: How can you experience that?) Find out for yourself. Go within. (SL: Then if you experience it your mind is still there.) How do you know? Your mind is what hinders you. (SL: The mind is a part of the source.) No, it’s not. (SL: Everything is.) Nothing is because nothing exists. (SL: What do you mean nothing exists?) To be part of the source means that the source had to produce these conditions. That’s what you’re implying. But in reality what you call the source, or absolute reality, only knows itself as consciousness. It doesn’t know anything about this. You do. You know that there is a world, but the world really is not there. What you call the source only knows itself, that’s all. But find this out for yourself. (SL: But then you’re saying everything always existed, the dog always existed too.) In the appearance. (SL: We’re an appearance too.) Your body is an appearance, the world is an appearance, but it’s not really you. You are not the world as it appears. You appear to be. (SL: But we all work together. It all goes together.) No, it doesn’t. It appears that way. But there’s no one to work together. There are no others. It’s just as if you tell me, “The sky is blue.” But if you go into the atmosphere you’ll find that there is no sky and there is no blue. It doesn’t exist. (SL: But I’m relating to you because you’re there. Without you being there I don’t have the same illusion, if that’s what you want to call it. If the dog isn’t there I don’t have the same perception, even though that perception, that leela, whatever you call it, is very important.) That’s how you see it from where you are coming from. (SL: I mean, just being, I don’t mean it’s important to the person as a person. It’s important because that’s what life means.) To whom? To you. (SL: To me. That’s my life.) That’s how you see it right now. But let’s imagine you are in kindergarten. (SL: Kinder…pardon?) (Laughter) Kindergarden. SK: No, grade school. R: In grade school. When you were in kindergarten that was your life, and that’s all you knew. (SL: Fine.) But then you grow up. (SL: Good.) And now you’re somewhere else, and you’re saying, that’s your life. (SL: Good.) But life is a series of growing. (SL: Good.) Therefore you’ll grow out of what you believe now, one day, and you’ll see something else completely. (SL: But you know that after certain stage you begin to suspect that this is so. But I still feel grateful to the flower, to whatever is here.) When you were in kindergarten you felt grateful for the spit balls you were throwing and the hair you were pulling. That was your reality. So now this is what you are telling me about yourself is your reality. But there is more to it than that. (SL: I don’t mean to contradict you.) You can! (SL: But if you obliterate all of that, then you have to be nothing!) That’s it, you got it! You got it. That’s it! When you become nothing, you’re everything. SJ: Is there ever a point that one feels they know something? R: There is nothing to know because you are everything. Consciousness knows itself. (SJ: So there is no knowing. There’s not going to be any knowing.) There is no knowing as it is now. There’s just pure awareness, total awareness, pure intelligence. You know yourself. (SJ: And you know everything else as yourself, but as to where it came from, what it is, you don’t really know?) That all becomes clear to you. It didn’t come from anywhere because it never existed. It’s only an appearance, and it appears real to you at this time. But there will come a time when all of this will be gone and you’ll be free. SB: So Robert, the only thing to really do is to hold on to the nothing, but then there is nobody to hold on to it. R: When you follow the I to its source the I dissolves into consciousness, which is called nothing, no-thing. An another word for that is bliss, harmony, love, you become a living embodiment of that and you can’t explain it because there are no words. Remember the finite can never comprehend the infinite. You can only find the truth in the silence, not by words. (SB: To the mind it looks like zero, but in reality it’s reality. Right?) The mind is zero. (SB: It’s just the opposite then. The mind thinks it’s something and that the nothing is zero. And in truth what you’re saying is, the zero is the real reality and the mind is really zero.) Well you can say, “All the world loves a lie. Therefore when I tell the truth, it thinks I’m telling a lie.” SK: So the dreamer can’t wake up because he’s not dreaming a dream. (R: Exactly.) I don’t understand that. R: No one is dreaming. You appear to be dreaming as long as you believe you’re a body. But when you awaken you will realize that you’ve always been awake. There never was a time when you were anything else but pure consciousness. SG: Would that be referred to sometimes as your soul, then? R: No, the soul is part of your mind. The soul doesn’t exist. You’re giving credence to that. Just like reincarnation, karma and the rest of it. As long as you believe you’re a body, then all these things are true and real, but as soon as you realize you’re not the body or the mind everything else becomes redundant. SB: It’s like the soul is supposedly an individual and you’re saying there is no such thing because there is only consciousness, which is not an individual. R: It’s the same thing as people believe, when they die, their soul becomes something else. You go to a causal plane, or an astral plane or whatever. That is true for people who believe they’re the body, because you are creating all these things, but as soon as you wake up to your true nature, none of that exists. ST: Robert, how do we appear to you? R: As my Self. There is only one Self. When I speak of myself, I don’t mean as Robert. I mean as consciousness. There is only one ultimate reality and I-am is that. SB: But you see our body, right? You see a body. R: Yes. I see a body like a mirror sees reflections. You see reflections from a mirror, but you’re not the reflection. You’re the mirror. In the same way, I see everything as a superimposition upon the Self. There is one Self, and I-am is that. (SB: Can you see actually consciousness? Does consciousness have an appearance, a physical appearance?) Nope, I see you. Like when you go to a movie and you see the images on a screen. You forget about the screen and you think the images are real. But if you try to grab them you grab, the screen, because there really are no images. So I see you as consciousness. So I see the screen rather than the impressions. (SB: But you can’t see it with your physical eyes. Do you feel it or do you know it? A knowingness way of it or beingness way of it?) I experience oneness. (SB: Oh.) Everything is one. Things come and go but the oneness never changes. (SB: Then you feel that you are each person.) No. I feel that I am a unit, unity. There’s one. Nothing is divided. There’s only oneness. SK: Do you feel it or do you know it? (SD: Omnipresence?) R: Omnipresence. Feeling and knowing are both wrong. There is a state of being where you just become that, and the only other word for it is silence. (SB: Is it a great happiness?) Total bliss! (SK: One of the songs you play says existence, knowledge, bliss. Is that true?) Sat-chit-ananda, existence, knowledge, bliss, those are all part of reality. That’s all reality. But it’s beyond that. You’re looking for words to explain it. Again remember, the finite cannot describe or explain the infinite. There are no words to describe it. You’ve got to dive within yourself and prove it to yourself. This is the reason I tell you so often, do not believe me. Do not believe a word I say. Why should you? But dive within yourself and find out. Prove it to yourself and then come and argue with me. Let’s sing some more songs. (After singing) SQ: Did you say that there is no karma and there is no reincarnation? (R: Yes.) Would you put karma on the current Middle east crisis? R: The current Middle east crisis is a part of the illusion. (SQ: It’s an illusion?) It’s part of what you see. It’s something that you have created in your mind. (SQ: Well I think right now they’re not coming from my mind.) Sure they are. Right now we are sitting here too, but that’s your perception. The whole idea is to transcend the perceptions and we see something else completely. (SQ: What is my perception?) What you’re telling me. (SQ: Why would I…unclear) Of course. it’s like you are having a dream and in your dream we’re talking like this. And you are telling me what you just told me and I’m telling you it’s a dream. But you say, “No Robert it’s not, can’t you see we are all sitting here? I can walk over and pinch you,” and you come over and pinch me in the dream. And you say, “There is a war and there is a war going on in the dream.” Everything is happening, but then you wake up. (SQ: I can’t really understand. Why is there no karma and no reincarnation?) Because you believe in it. Because you believe in it. Only because you believe in it. (SQ: Well.) That is why it exists. (SQ: But then why are you saying they don’t exist?) I’m taking of my own experience. (SQ: But can you prove it? (students laugh) I mean I can’t really understand what you’re saying.) I don’t want you to. (SQ: I know but it’s different.) Whatever I would tell you wouldn’t matter because they’re just words. This is why I say, “Find out for yourself.” (SQ: Well I have.) That’s where you are right now. But there’s more than that. (SQ: Oh. I know there’s more. Are you saying that you are better than I am?) No I’m not, I’m worse than you are. (laughter) (SQ: But you don’t know that. How do you know that?) Because you just told me. (laughter) (SQ: These are just words.) That’s right they’re words. That’s why we’re talking. (SQ: So if you go into consciousness there’s nothing?) What is pure consciousness? (SQ: Well I would think that from what you say, I hope we can communicate in it or God consciousness whatever you want to call it. It’s just consciousness.) Why do you say something that you haven’t experienced? (SQ: Well I had experienced it because you said so.) So you’ve experienced it? (SQ: Yeah I have experienced it.) Then you’d have nothing to say. (SQ: So, I don’t know about that. Your statement of no karma and no reincarnation I’m solving that because I’ve found them to be true and so have lots of people.) Well enjoy it. Enjoy it (SQ: Well you’ve got to find your own concepts. You learn to ride on the things you feel are correct.) Dive within yourself and find out. Go deep within yourself. The answers are there. (SQ: Okay I think I understand there’s no argument.) SG: Well why should there be reincarnation if what we really are hasn’t been born and doesn’t die? R: But we don’t know that. (SQ: Yeah but if one experiences that like an explosion in the self.) Then there is nothing else. (SQ: Right. But I wondered about, why should there be reincarnation of a person if all we truly are isn’t born and doesn’t die?) Because she believes she is the body. As long as you believe that you are the body there is not one body, there are many bodies. (SQ: I can’t agree with what you’re saying Robert, that I am not the body. I know that I am not just the body, I know that.) But you believe in your body. You believe that your body is real. (SQ: Well for now.) Why should it be otherwise now? (SQ: You also said there was no soul?) Umm, for whom is there a soul? For the body. (SQ: Yeah.) As long as you believe that you are the body then there is a soul, there is karma, there is reincarnation, then there is God there is everything. But as soon as you transcend the body then it all disappears. (SQ: Robert are you an atheist?) Umm? (SQ: Are you an atheist?) (Robert laughs) I believe that God is all things. What we call God is another name for consciousness. SK: Did you meet Nuni Yogananda? (R: Which one?) Shri Ramana Nuni Yogananda? (R: No.) SN: How did we get in the state of hypnosis? R: You never did. You believe you did that is why everything happens. But you are completely free. (SN: I am, but my mind isn’t.) As long as you believe that it’ll be bound. You have to go within yourself in the silence and see for whom the mind is. (SN: But how can you speak of freedom if you see you’re still bound by the laws of mortal existence, you’re breathing yourself?) Say that again? (SN: But how can you speak of freedom if we can see with our eyes that you’re still bound by mortal existence that ties you to logic?) You use the mind to destroy the mind. So when you examine the mind it disappears because it never existed. (SN: But can you prove transcendence of the body by ceasing the breath and heart beat?) By ceasing what? (SN: The breath and the heart beat?) Ceasing the breath and the heart beat has nothing to do with transcendental meditation. It’s just totally another feat of the mind. (SN: But transcendental that we use is beyond reason and even beyond the mind.) If you go beyond the mind you become free. Everything else is of the mind. (SN: If you are still longing for breathing and eating then you must be part of the body which isn’t separate of the mind.) It’s all part of the mind. But when the mind is transcended the body will still eat and will still do everything it does. But it has nothing to do with you. ST: Robert the last time we were talking about angels. (R: Umm?) Is there such a thing as angels? (R: In your mind. As long as you believe you are the mind and the body. Angels exist, the devil exists, everything exists. But as soon as you realize who you are, then you become free and liberated.) SL: But isn’t that part of the creativity? Like an artist to make a painting because he wishes to? (R: The creativity comes out of your mind.) Yes but of your own free will. (R: Of course. As long as you think that you are the mind you can do all kinds of things.) But you know that they don’t exist but you enjoy the play. (R: Who enjoys?) Whoever is here. (R: Who is that?) Whoever it is. You won’t catch me on that one. (Robert and students laugh) (R: When the mind is gone everything is bliss and everything takes care of itself.) Yeah but mind is also bliss.) (R: The mind is a conglomeration of thoughts. The mind is a bunch of thoughts of the past and the future.) SX: Is emotions just generated by thoughts then? R: Yes. Everything is part of your mind and part of your thinking process. That’s why the mind has to be transcended. (SX: Your story about the fig. At the centre of everything is nothingness.) Emptiness. (SX: Emptiness?) Emptiness is consciousness. SK: And the mind has a hard time accepting that it doesn’t exist, is it right? R: The mind will not accept it at all. So you have to examine the mind by watching it, by being mindful. By asking, “To whom does the mind come?” SX: So it’s ultimate fear is death then? (R: Fear of death?) No thought, no life for the mind. (R: The mind does that. The mind plays all kinds of games. Death, birth and everything else in between. When the mind goes everything goes.) SD: Does that mean that once the mind has been transcended there is always emptiness? R: There is emptiness as consciousness, as bliss. It’s not emptiness like you know. It’s a cessation of thought and there is a total joy. A total bliss that is beyond understanding. That takes its place. Let’s try to experience it. You can practice this in the privacy of your home. So close your eyes, try to focus your attention on your breath. Just watch yourself breathing. If any thoughts come to you just ignore them. Become the observer of your breath. (pause) Now ask yourself the question, “Who observes the breath? Who is the witness to my breathing?” And the answer comes, “I am.” Now this is the meditation. With your respiration as you inhale you say, “I” as you exhale you say, “am”, “I am.” (tape ends)