If something does not feel right with a spiritual teacher, walk away from the scene. Do
not worry whether the teacher is famous, attractive, has many followers, etc. These are
after all superficial things. When the body dies, the fact that such things are
meaningless becomes obvious. Water finds its own level. So if something does not feel
right, simply trust your judgment and walk away. To paraphrase Pascal, "the heart has
reasons which reason cannot know."
The Truth is Simple. It is found in just letting go and being who you are without
reservation. To be overly attached to concepts, any concepts, is to be enslaved by them.
Whether it is the concept of enlightenment or competition or attraction of followers,
etc., what difference can it make. One who is lost in the jungle of concepts runs away
from simplicity of their own self as it undermines their perceived identity. Truly,
Simplicity of Self as Pure Being cannot be overwhelmed. It is It Self Eternally
Joshua: What is self-evident is itself its own foundation.
But self-evidence could also be self-delusion.
One deludes onself easily! :-) So perhaps
we need a "proof" for this self-evidence?
What is that proof?
On this point we may differ. For me, an insight needs no
further proof. If I look for this proof then I begin thinking and thinking
I was trying to come up with my idea of proof that an insight is
genuine. I can only relay this little story which may sound so freaking
stupid, but it seems to be my gauge if I'm ever trying to ignore one.
When I was 15 I went without shoes everywhere. One day out of the
blue I told myself to wear shoes. Little rebel that I was, I fought the
idea and went along my way with nothing on my feet. I stepped on a rock
that stuck to my foot and when I tried to brush it off I didn't come off.
I looked and found a big piece of glass stuck in my foot. It had severed a
tendon, and I now have a toe that doesn't move.
About a year later I told myself to lock my bike up at night,
something I never did. At the time I even reminded myself about my toe.
When I woke in the morning the bike was gone.
Those are two incidents I keep in the back of my head. If I tell
myself, this doesn't feel like a place I should be, I usually listen and
leave, if I choose to try to ignore an insight, something says, remember
your toe. It doesn't happen often because I've learned for the most part
what to listen to and what is delusion, but I will say, if I ever hear
"remember your toe", I pay attention. I know then, not to ignore that
I look at this and think how stupid it sounds. Oh well...
Not stupid sounding to me at all. I always listen to this
voice now days, in fact i consult it often if it doesn't
pipe up :-) and have even learned to sense degrees of
earnestness in its advise. Consequently i experience very
few mishaps and am often well aware of the outcome of events
before they happen and what their subjective lesson is.
The foundation of this conviction is the heart.
~ Yes! Not the sentimental or emotional heart, but the
center of the self and the whole of the Self.
Jan, I often do not understand why so many turn to specific religions,
cultures, etc., when the truth is right here right now. Why search the
past 1000's of years when the truth is in this very moment?
Recognition of the truth is a piece of cake. Nothing special, except when
one has a past as unsuccessful seeker or a mind overloaded with beliefs.
Then, the recognition becomes "the" event. Realization has to include mind
and body, that is if one wants to be free from suffering, compulsive
thinking, acting and what is called "second death". This isn't a simple
feat, it is often the dedication of a lifetime and the endeavor is eased by
Satsangh which can be the company of a group of equal minded ones;
intuitively this is sensed by everyone, included you as you are on this
My question to you both now is about how does one maintain this "no leader,
no follower" relationship of equality (?) while still recognizing the
greater experience and knowledge of the "former leader?" It seems that the
basis of equality has to shift to "something else" but I have yet to
identify what that is. I am still not entirely free of pain, either. I
would appreciate your ideas.
Dan: Hi, Glo.
My perception of this situation is that to develop an ideal of a
"no leader, no follower relationship of equality" makes the ideal into
the leader and oneself into the follower of the ideal. The "internalized
relationship" of leader and follower is often more difficult
to be clear on than the "external relationship". Only when there is
no emotional pressure to follow an ideal or impose a standard on oneself,
will the "leader/follower relationship" be deconstructed. I don't mean
by this a person who breaks rules to prove freedom, as such
rule-breaking typically occurs in the service of an internalized object,
a self that "wants something" (e.g., to make an impression, to get
something from others, etc.) Only when awareness isn't dependent on any
object, whether an "external" person or teaching, or an "internal" idea or
image, will this dynamic not be conditioning perception.
-- Love --
Controlling is exactly what needs to stop. Controlling and being controlled
by are two sides of the same coin.
Thank you for looking at this important issue. As seen from here:
Control is sought by direct influence or indirect manipulation: to
maintain a condition, to end a condition, or to have a condition arise.
To be controlled may be sought after or avoided. Seeking to be controlled
or not to be controlled, is itself a form of the same dynamic (i.e.,
one is manipulating or influencing to gain a particular condition).
Control, as discussed here, won't end because it "needs to stop".
Needing it to stop is itself a form of control.
It will only end when it is seen through, when there is clarity about the
entire situation. Such clarity is itself the "nondual truth" in which the
"coin" is seen as it is.
-- Love --
Tim: There is fear in the Silence... because where Silence Is, "I" am not. And
the ego fears that with a real horror. But the fear is entirely
unjustified, from what little experiential understanding is here.
~I do not agree that there is fear in Silence. Fear exists not there.
When we experience fear of being nothing in eternal Silence we are remaining
in the realm of 'mind' where fear exists. It is not Silence itself that is
fearful but it is interpretation and anticipation - a sort of 'twilight' zone
- that scares the begeebers out of us.
neo: As to the fear of being alone, when you finally turn around and face
it, it is really quite a joke. All this time we have been striving for unity,
for oneness, and yet we are afraid of it so we push it away. It really is
funny. It is another trick of the ego to keep the veil over our eyes.
~ Dear neo
Being in a solitary time in my life I went through a similar facing of
loneliness. I discovered that my fear of being alone was actually an
anticipation of future loniness. Being present now, all that other stuff
I have another question: What do you think
about the Guru's Grace, i.e. the "mystical"
awakening, blissfulness and even transformation
of the adept in the presence of the Guru?
~ I have experienced it.
~ The phenomenon of awakening from the dream of limited identity is both
more complex and simpler than the intellect can grasp. How it happens is
unique and intimate for each person.
The blessing of a real guru is tremendous, but not available to all.
As far as just waking up, it's a matter of Grace as to whether that
But it is true, that the Self is closer to "us" than our own breath.
When it is perceived for the first time, one finds it remarkable
that they never saw it before.
Grace is the arbiter of realization. That is,
realization happens by Grace alone.
We can meditate for years with the Rishis in
the Himalayas, but if we're not blessed with
Grace, the goal will not be found.
The correlation between disciplined Sadhana
and the blessing of Moksha is apparent only.
There are thousands who have practiced
diligently for many years who have yet to
be blessed this way.
There are some who find themselves to be
Brahman after just one dabbling. How else
can this knowledge arise but by Grace?
If such Grace were an accident, the prisons
would be full of Self realization.
I like this passage by Alan Watts in his
"In My Own Way - An Autobiography"
Do you suppose that God takes himself seriously? I know a
Zen master, Joshu Sasaki, who has let it be known that the
best form of meditation is to stand up with your hands on your
hips and roar with laughter for ten minutes every morning. I have
heard of a sophisticated shaman-type fellow who used to cure
ringworm on cows just by pointing at the scars and laughing.
TRULY RELIGIOUS PEOPLE ALWAYS MAKE JOKES ABOUT
THEIR RELIGION; THEIR FAITH IS SO STRONG THAT THEY
CAN AFFORD IT. Much of the secret of life consists in knowing
how to laugh, and also how to breathe.
It's beautiful! :-)