Seeing is Becoming

Taken from online satsang Decemeber 20, 2010

Before I start with the main central point of my talk, I want to go through briefly those four steps, or the stages of Self-inquiry which I had given in my last Satsang.

The first one was acceptance. Acceptance of your present state of beingness, which is very important: to accept what you perceive yourself as, right at this very moment. That is point number one. You cannot proceed ahead unless, or until, you accept yourself completely and wholly. That is rule number one.

Second step or principle: Acceptance does not mean that you leave it unattended. “Acceptance” means you watch it – thoroughly. Investigate it. Observe it. Look at it intently. That is second point.

Third step or principle is – what happens when you watch it, is that you will see that your beingness, your present state of existence, has changed form.

So we are doing only one thing in all of this: We are only watching. We are not trying to change anything. Right from acceptance, second point was observation, and third thing was that it changes.

Nowhere I have looked at the “I.” I have only looked at my present state of beingness. That’s all. The “I” has simply followed that. It has completely followed my beingness. You will see that in due course just as your beingness will change form, your “I” will follow it. It too will change form; it will become it.

And that is what I am going to address today. The topic is “Seeing is Becoming.” That is the central point (Third step). This is the backbone of Self-inquiry, of Advaita itself.

Whatever the “I” sees, it becomes. And I begin my talk with this. (The fourth point I shall take after this.)

So, what do I mean when I say that “Seeing is becoming”? Or, what do I mean when I say that what the “I” sees, it becomes? What I mean to say is: You perceive reality on the basis of what you see. That becomes your reality. You don’t need anybody to give you a proof of the reality – you know it. For example, you see the gross matter around you, this gross body, and you say that “I am the body.” Isn’t it?

Now, the same “you,” when you go into your dream, watches the dream state. It sees that, it identifies with that dream state, that dream character and now it has become that. During that sleep, that dream phase, you do not remember this identity. You now identify with the dream character, whoever it is. It could be the same identity, but the character, the situation, everything has changed.

The reality itself changes. For example, sometimes in the dream you will feel you’re falling down a hill. And sometimes in another dream you will feel that you are given some exam, and you have failed. So new realities emerge in each dream and those have nothing to do with your present situation, but each dream seems so real.

So, your “I” has changed . So, most people today, remain identified in both these states. They oscillate or move between these two states unaware (move from waking to the dream state), and they say, “Okay, this is okay. It’s fine. I feel no need to inquire even of these two states.”

However, a serious seeker, when he first enters Self-inquiry or he takes up spiritual pursuit, observes these two states very minutely. And he comes to the conclusion that “I am not the body, because I can watch over it. I am not the thoughts, because I stand independent of it. I can watch them. I can watch the 

rising and falling of my emotions, and I stand aside of it. They don’t touch me. They’re there but they come and they go.”

So, who is this “I?”

“Who is this ‘I’?” is now the question in the mind. It’s like a worm which goes into your head. Now you cannot rest, because now you want to find out. You have now changed from normal, individual people, and now you want to find out, “Who is this ‘I’ who stands independent of these two states?”

But the problem is, the moment you open your eyes, you see the gross world around you. And the moment you close your eyes, you see dreams. After that, you do not remember anything that has happened. That is what happens with maximum people, and that is the problem with seekers also. They don’t know what to do.

So then, what has to be done? So then a thought comes in your mind which is if you close your eyes and look deeply within, by being aware, by observing a state which is beyond the dream, can you find that “I?” Can you find the “I” by going beyond it? That is your question.

So, we will just take some little task together, for just some time. I want all of you here to close your eyes for some time. Whatever position you are, if you are lying down, please lie down. If you are sitting on a couch, please be relaxed. If you are sitting in a chair, relax.

Just close your eyes, for a short time, for some seconds. I want to give you some insight of what I’m trying to drive at. Please close your eyes and relax yourself completely.

Do you see a black void in front of you, ahead of you?

First thing, apply rule number one – Accept it. Completely accept it. Now, apply step number two:

Watch it.

Look inside of it. Gaze into it. Look intently into it. Focus.

Okay. Open your eyes – everybody. What did you all see?

Come on, Jo-Ann. I want an answer from somebody.

Jo-Ann: (laughing) Nothing.

Rajivji: Anybody else saw anything? Did anybody see anything? Everybody, probably two people. Yes, somebody is there, who wants to say something?

Joseph: Yes. Joseph.

Rajivji: My friend! How are you?

Joseph: Hi, Rajiv.

Rajivji: Hello, hello. Yes?

Joseph: Yes. I see nothing.

Rajivji: Very good! You see nothing. Jo-Ann too saw nothing. Most see nothing.

And what was my third step? What was my third step? Have you all forgotten, everybody? Already?

Jo-Ann: “Seeing is becoming.”

Rajivji: YES!!! Seeing is becoming. So (going by the third principle or step) if you see nothing, you become – nothing. The third principle or stage is what you see is what you become. Right?

But, have you ALL become nothing yet? (laughing)
No. It is not so easy that you become nothing. I just wanted to give you an insight

into what my topic was. It is not that you become nothing. And the reason is: the mind will not allow you to become nothing.

This was for only a few seconds, you intently gazed into that Void, that nothingness. And you came to the conclusion, “I see nothing.”

But I’m telling you, if you are a serious meditator, you meditate, you concentrate for more than twenty minutes, thirty minutes, forty minutes, fifty minutes, you’ll have different observations. You will watch a lot of things happening. You will not see nothing. And mostly, you will watch the movement of your mind itself.

You will watch thoughts. You will watch various emotions. You will watch various happenings, phenomenons, but you will lose track of that nothingness.

Do you get me?

The goal is that void. But the mind does not allow you. And the reason is, the existence of mind depends on that. The moment you become nothing, means the mind has died. And that is why the mind will struggle for its existence.

So, what are we to do? We have to continue. We have to go on. We cannot let the mind, the thoughts, the emotions dictate to us.

We have to watch over that, keeping our focus only on one goal, and that is to become that nothingness, to watch that nothingness, to look at it.

Over a long period of time, when you will continue to look at that Void for a long time, you will come to an understanding that the thoughts have come, and they have gone.

You will not be any more distracted to those thoughts. You will not run behind that. Initially you will, and for a long time you will. Believe me, for a LONG TIME people are still identified with the thoughts. But continuous watching, continuous watching, continuous watching – that’s what you have to do. You have to continuously watch at that Void. Bring that Void near you. Look at it.

Many distractions will come, of various forms, during the time of meditation. Just when your mind will drop, and it will feel that it is losing its existence, it will give you an extraordinary experience! That is the nature of the mind. And you will follow that experience. And you will want that experience. But you do not know that is a trick of the mind. The mind is tricking you.

You have to remain only centered near the Void. You do not have to go follow the experiences. Various experiences will come. Sometimes some sound will come. Sometimes some light will manifest out of the blue. Sometimes you’ll see a tunnel, and you’re going inside the tunnel. Sometimes you’ll see some revolving lights – blue, purple; various things. All kinds of experiences will come to the fore during meditation.

They are distractions, but desirable distractions. Again, I have to tell you this – You cannot prevent that from happening. It shows that the mind is getting scared 

of dying! So that is why he’s showing you these experiences. He’s trying to distract you.

So, don’t fall for that. But, be happy that these experiences are coming; it means that progress is being made. Yet I shall remain only focused on what I have to do (irrespective of these experiences), I shall not deviate from my path. And I shall continue to look, continue to look while I am meditating.

One day what will happen is that all thoughts, all emotions, all experiences will no longer take your attention at the time of meditation. You will be centered in the Void. And all thoughts, all experiences may or may not happen. You are not paying any attention to them during meditation.

They are happening on the surface, while in your case, there is a perfect relationship going on with your Void. There is continuity of consciousness which is flowing towards you and the Void. Nothing is distracting that.

Nothing comes in the way.

Everything will still happen. But you don’t feel anything. The flow of consciousness is perfectly directed at the Void! And at that time, real meditation will take place. The mind will drop. In fact, you will not have even this awareness that you are meditating on the Void. And at that moment, that “I-ness” has gone. That is what is going to happen.

Now another important question comes here: “How do I look?”

This needs to be addressed, also – “How am I supposed to look at the Void? If I’m going to look for my mind, then the mind is going to show only itself. It is going to give me a glimpse of a false Void.” That is how tricky the mind is.

You will create your own Void and tell me, “Rajivji, I got a glimpse of the Void. I was in the Void!” But that was only the mind.

So, I am going to give you a technique. I’m going to share you one. In fact, this technique was brought to me in the notice by my Guruji, Sri Edji, and it is very much mentioned in the autobiography [“Autobiography of a Jnani” – teaching dialogues between Edward Muzika and Rajiv Kapur.] And I have just made it into a step, and just trying to provide it, so that people can understand what looking means, the real looking.

As you close your eyes to meditate, you will see the Void. What you have to do is, you have to bring the Void to your heart – downwards – and bring it here. And now you are feeling the Void, you bring it closer to yourself, and feel it there. And look from there, from your heart.

This is a very effective technique. When you are looking from the Third Eye there is still the Void. I am not disputing that. I did it in my Kriya yoga for many years. But it gives rises to many kinds of phenomena and kundalini experiences and many other such lights, and noises and voids – which are all noise, all mind- work. And you can get lost in this.

Rather bring it here, onto the heart, near your heart. Feel the Void here. Accept it here. Enter the Void here – and then SINK into it. The more you sink, the more mind is going to die – the more meditation will effortlessly happen – the better the looking will be – because here in the heart, it is not the mind which is looking.

So sink!

Try and go downwards (backwards). As far as possible, try to go downwards, even below the heart, if possible – go downwards! And just go.

Rest there.

Don’t look at anything.

Just sink.

And then, you may find that you are going into a bottomless pit. You’re sinking deep into some kind of scary stuff there. You know, it’s very scary. But that again (chuckling) is a final weapon of the mind. He wants you to bring him (the mind) back.

And that is where most advanced meditators make a mistake. Just when they’re sinking into a state, they bring the mind back!

They want to become awake (wake up.) And I’m telling you to awaken!

They’re two different things: You do not have to be awake. You have to awaken. In the awake state the mind is active; while in the awakened state the mind has disappeared.

So, my dear friends, this is what you should follow. The technique is given – “How to Look.”

And this should introduce you to the method. It is a form of guided meditation. You can try it. And one fine day, once you become very deep into this, as the sinking starts to happen, you will come to know that the “I” who started this journey of searching has disappeared.

Now, there is someone else who is doing the search. That, I will come to later in the Satsang. For the time being, we must stick to this.

Now, my fourth point comes into question, which is: No matter what you become, even when you become the Void, it is all false. It is still an illusion. Even the void is dropped later.

This is the fourth and final point which will be addressed in another Satsang in more detail.

The third point has to be done first, and then the fourth step will come later . You will have to know about nothingness (watching it in its totality) and become it first.

This talk today has introduced to you a method, has tried to give you a structure of where you should head in your meditation.

Alright?

So, I shall complete my talk. Thank you so much. Any questions are most, most welcome.

 

 

Q&A

 

Question 1:

 

Rajivji: Yes, Dennis.

Dennis: When looking in the emptiness, in the nothingness, isn’t it sometimes boring?

Rajivji: Yes.

Dennis: That there’s nothing.

Rajivji: Yes.

Dennis: It seems to be boring.

Rajivji: Yes.

Dennis: The mind seems to go away.

Rajivji: Who’s saying so, that it is boring?

Dennis: I do.

Rajivji: Who is that “I?”

Dennis: Dennis.

Rajivji: Isn’t it your own mind? Yeah, “Dennis,” who is your body-mind!

So, I told you – All these things are going to come your way – “This is boring. This is attractive. This is good. This is bad.” All this is nothing but the mind. You continue your journey, regardless of what your mind tells you. Try this meditation. If you are going to listen to your mind, then it is not meditation.

Meditation means you are sticking to one thought, and you’re not looking at other thoughts at all. Only one thought gets prominence. And what is that one thought?

The blankness. The Void. The nothingness.

“I have only one goal. I have to look at it intently by sinking into it.” That’s all. Nothing more.

You may go a thousand times. You might get diverted. You might go again toward what the mind says, but you will come back here only. What the mind tells you is false . Don’t believe what it tells you. It has to tell you that it is boring, my friend. It has to tell you. (smiling)

Dennis: Yes.

Rajivji: It has to survive… so it will give you stories. (chuckling) Dennis: Sure. When I close my eyes, when I look, I see this blankness. Rajivji: Yes!

Dennis: It’s also on this level here. Rajivji: Yes.

Dennis: It’s a visual sense. Rajivji: Yes.

Dennis: But when I lower my attention to my heart area or my belly, still this looking, there are two things: looking and being.

Rajivji: Good question, Dennis. I have to clarify something here. The thing is, in my last Satsang I had told one guided meditation which said that love is your beingness, if you remember. Right?

And love is generated from your heart only, it is not generated here (pointing to head). If you look at it, “I love here” (pointing to heart), you know? It’s like it’s more predominant in your heart area. Love manifests from your heart. (Smiling)

So, you feel beingness from your heart. So, if you feel beingness from your heart, you can go with love, with a feeling of love and sink there. (Please refer to my document “Steps in Hunting the I” for more details regarding Love and its connection with beingness.)

But why I gave today this whole talk about the Void is that I wanted to address a larger section of seekers… most people can see nothing in front of them. Most, even you can see that. So, I’m trying to give them an object. It is only for the purpose of meditation.

However those who feel that love into your beingness is the object, they can go for that. Otherwise, those who have a more visual perception to finding truth and are more intellectually drawn (pointing to head), which means they like to see things and observe things more – for them, this is more effective. So, I’ve given them both options.

So, there’s no escape you see? No escape! (Smiling)

You can do either of these things. You can do either of these things.

Dennis: Thank you.

Rajivji: The main thing is to sink. The main thing is to bring the Void which you see into this (pointing to heart,) into your heart. If it is love, you’re already there – in your heart.

If it is watching (pointing to the third eye), then you bring it slowly downwards. Very simple.

But whatever it is – whatever you will see, you will become. Final conclusion.

Question 2:

John: About two years ago, I awoke into pure consciousness. I recognized the “I am.” And for about a year, I attempted to abide in that “I am,” very diligently, constantly and consciously.

Rajivji: Mm-hm.

John: And there was quite a bit of dissolution, you know, when I was . . . I had a lot of desire to realize myself, but I was forced to integrate back into the world, you know, due to financial concerns and stuff like that.

The last few months I’ve really started to forget who I am. I’ve started to lose myself. I haven’t made a permanent shift into that. And I was wondering if you could offer some advice and support for me.

Rajivji: Well, you carry on the way you’re doing. You have to know that inquiry can happen in your daily life, also. You don’t have to divorce anything; it can keep happening. You can keep being observant of the way you are, and meditate.

Formal meditation is very important. So, you can meditate, doing daily meditation for some time, and you’ll see the changes within you. You see what happens is – whatever goes and comes, or whatever comes and goes, cannot be real.

Right?

When we talk about pure consciousness, it is a state of samadhi, the pure beingness. Samadhis come and go, too. But pure consciousness samadhi is very different.

The definition of pure “I am-ness” by Nisargadatta Maharaj, is the highest form of samadhi. It never leaves you. It is sahaja – the natural state.

So, whatever you got – that glimpse – came and gone. So now, whatever you are at this moment, accept that, and begin the inquiry. For sure, you must have got insight into some very beautiful thing. You will get that again!

See that. Watch it.

If there is any difficulty, we’re there. No problem. You can always mail or get in touch. No issues. (chuckling)

John: Thank you.

Question 3:

Joseph: Okay, Rajiv. So Zen is past, and I’m just practicing, basically on my own, until I met you and Edji. Rajivji: Yeah.

Joseph: So, my question is, nowadays during my meditation (and I’ve talked to you about this,) is that I have this blankness!

Rajivji: (smiling)

Joseph: I meditate. I can meditate seventeen, eighteen hours a day. That’s what we would do in sesshin [Zen Buddhist group meditation.]

Rajivji: Mm-hm.

Joseph: But usually I do it about for two hours. And you know, within a couple of minutes, it goes from kind of a dreaming, to what seems like a complete, blank, deep sleep state.

Rajivji: Very good.

Joseph: But it’s known. But I keep having these doubts come up, because one of the things that I was always taught in Zen is that you keep your eyes open – and I practice shikantaza [a method of Zen meditation] – So, you do not go to sleep. You do not go to sleep! That was pounded into me.

Rajivji: Yeah.

Joseph: If you’re sleeping, you wake up. But, you know what’s always been happening, now this is what I’m thinking, is that my waking up was always returning to mind.

Rajivji: Of course!

Joseph: So now, I just sit in this blankness, and I run a timer over a two-to-four hour period. I run a timer so that every twenty five minutes, I get this gong from a bell in my computer, and it gives me these intervals.

Rajivji: Yeah.

Joseph: I find that there’s awareness, just immediately, in a blankness, as the gong appears; and then it goes away. But my mind keeps messing with me, trying to say, “No, you’re just sleeping here.”

Rajivji: (Laughing)

Joseph: “You’re sleeping and you’re waking up because you hear this sound.”

But at the same time, I don’t believe that’s necessarily true.

Rajivji: Yeah, that’s not necessarily true. That is the mind’s way of doing some defense. It doesn’t want to die.

Joseph: That’s really my question. It just keeps interfering. Rajivji: Don’t worry. You’re in the absolutely correct direction.

Now you got the direction, the mind will not give up without a fight. You have to be patient. The more you will expect, the impatience can add to your problem, ah? Because it is still the mind.

So, you just relax in that position. You are very close to that state what we are talking about, and of the Void. You will know that, how it is. I think you have some experience also of that. But the thing is, the mind has returned back in some way. Don’t worry. You’ll be there. It is not going to take much time for you, from what I see. For sure.

Joseph: Thank you. Thank you.

 

Question 4: 

 

 Tim: Hi, Rajiv.

 

Rajivji: Hello.

Tim: When I do my meditation, focusing on beingness, I tend to focus on the right side of my chest. It seems to feel like when I refer to my beingness, it seems to refer to me here, on the right side…

Rajivji: Mm-hm.

Tim: Is that alright, or should it be on the left side?

Rajivji: Beyond the mind, there’s no “left-right.”

Tim: Okay.

Rajivji: But to start off, you are in the right position, correct position. Be there. Tim: Okay. So, it’s on the right side then? Leave it there.

Rajivji: But sink! I want you to sink!

Forget distinctions between right, left, center, head, or up, down – sink! Just go downwards.

Tim: When you say “sink,” this means to sort of . . . let yourself go into that feeling?

Rajivji: Yes. Just go downwards into that feeling. Like if you’re lying down, then how you go, if you lie down on the bed. So, you are going downwards from there. . . down . . . from your heart. You’re going downwards.

Just go. Your intuition will tell you that you’re in the right path. You will get intuitive feelings. Awareness is always correct. Rajiv may not be, but awareness is.

So, your awareness will tell you, exactly. As far as your question goes, the answer is you’re in the actual correct right position.

Correct.

Tim: Can I have a Part B to my question?

Rajivji: Yeah, sure. Why not? Buy one, get one free! (laughing)

Tim: You speak of the mind as if it’s a separate entity that basically wants to survive, and it does whatever it can to survive.

Rajivji: Appearance-wise.

Tim: Appearance-wise. I see.

Rajivji: There is no mind.

Tim: Right.

Rajivji: That is true – There is no mind. But that you will know, once you have gone beyond mind.

Tim: I see.

Rajivji: But for those still in the body-mind, that is still a truth, a reality for them. Once you transcend that, the mind is not there. When the mind is not there, “Tim” is not there. Hm?

Tim: Yes.

Rajivji: And not only “Tim” is not there, “I am-ness” is not there. Nothing exists.

Tim: Right.

Rajivji: That is truth. But for that, we have to go step by step.

If I tell you “Nothing exists,” it is not going to help, because your conviction is not strong enough. Some of these teachers today, they taught that “We’re already That”, “Nothing exists”, “I don’t exist.” And we have to believe that.

But that belief must have an attainment to it. There should be some kind of conviction. Only then I will be convinced that “Yes, it is true.” So, why don’t you see for yourself? Why believe somebody? Yeah?

Tim: Yes.

Rajivji: For example, if you’re put in a room. And in that room, there is a big, dark lizard. And there is little light in there, and you can see those lizard’s eyes looking at you. Right? And there is a New Age teacher next to you, who tells you “Don’t worry. It is only made of rubber. Sleep, sleep. No problem. I’m telling you, it’s only made of rubber.”

Will you be able to sleep? You’re not convinced that it is rubber. You feel it is real! So what are you to do? You’re to go and touch it and see for yourself whether it is rubber or not. Once you see it is rubber, doubt is finished!

So, why don’t you see for yourself whether the mind is there or not there? Whether you exist or you don’t exist, see for yourself.

And I can tell you, if you see for yourself, doubts will be over. Tim: Thank you very much, Rajiv.

Question 5

Nathan: My question is regarding looking at the Void. It seems to me if I bring my attention at what is looking, that’s more Void than the Void in front of me. Does that make any sense?

Rajivji: Can you come again?

Nathan: If I look at who’s looking at the Void, that seems more of a Void thanthe Void in front of me.

Rajivji: Perfect!

Nathan: Do you understand? Does that make sense?

Rajivji: Yes, yes. No problem. Do that. Look at the “looker” of the Void. That’s what you’re trying to say.

Nathan: Mm-hm.

Rajivji: You’re trying to be the looker of the Void. You’re trying to be that. Do that. It’s as good as that. Ultimately, that’s what we are to do.

But, you have to find who the looker is. At this moment, your looker is your body- mind only.

Nathan: Right, right.

Rajivji: Because you come back as body-mind. So, you have to go deep. Find who the looker is. Keep going where you are. Find. You’re doing that. Correct practice. No problem.

As I said, you know, we can have different techniques. These are all techniques I have shared today. There is no “one technique for everybody.”

Nathan: Sure.

Rajivji: But, I’m giving you a direction, that’s all. Because many people ask “What direction do I have to go?” “What do I see?” “What is ‘I am-ness’?” “What is beingness?”

I’m just trying to give them a little structure. My attempt is to give one slight insight into it… kind of a goal, kind of an object. And the object of today’s lesson was the Void.

Question 6

Tina: Hello, Rajiv.

Rajivji: Yes, Tina!

Tina: I have a very stupid question…

Rajivji: Very good.

Tina: … But maybe there’s somebody else that has the same question.

Rajivji: Yes.

Tina: So, when you close your eyes, and you see the darknessthat is not the Void. Is that correct? Is the Void a lot deeper than that?

Rajivji: Yes. See, when you see the Void, immediately, if you look at it intently, very, very… you gaze at it with complete attention, then it is the Void.

Tina: Okay.

Rajivji: It is the Void. But because the “I” has gone, you see the thoughts have gone, when you look at the Void, very, very carefully – there is no “you.” There is only looking.

Tina: That’s how you know that you are in the Void?

Rajivji: Yeah, but as I said earlier also, it cannot go on for long, because the mind comes and interferes.

Tina: Mm-hm.

Question 7 

Jo-Ann: I don’t know if others have this, but when I sit in meditation now, or I just sit and listen to something like that, or even when I’m listening to you or Edji, and I get sort of lost in it, I start rocking.

Rajivji: (chuckling)

Jo-Ann: It’s just something that I have no control over, and there’s also sometimes a cycling as well. And I can pull the cycling from the head anywhere down that I want to, but…

What does one do with that? Let it happen?

Rajivji: Yeah, yeah. Of course. We have no choice on that. You know, these energies that work around you, you just feel too much of energy coming and sometimes there are some bodily movements which correspond to it. And so, you just allow them to happen, but you don’t get identified with that. That’s all.

You know when we say, “It happens,” and “It just happens, and gives me joy,” “It gives me happiness, and I am okay with it” – That “Okay with it” is not very okay. You know what I mean?

You just let it pass. If it happens, let it happen. You will see that it will disappear, provided you just let go of it. And you bring your mind back to where you focus, which is being at your beingness.

This is independent of your beingness. You have to think in that way. Just like thought is momentary hindrances actually. Because they don’t let you settle down. Some people have a lot of kundalini experiences which happen, these are all the same things which happen.

So we just let them happen, and we just remain focused. When it will happen, that depends on your practice and your attitude. Don’t try to stop anything.

I used to have the same thing when I used to do Kriya. My head used to go something like this (rotates head side to side), you know, it used to go rotating. And I realized that maybe there’s something wrong with my body, or something I have to stop. You can’t stop! You don’t stop! You just let it go the way it is.

Only thing I’m telling you is, you will remain focused on that, you will come to know that in spite of whatever is happening, in case even if it is going, you will go into a state of samadhi.

So, don’t worry about it. Just remain focused. But! Don’t identify with that.

Jo-Ann: No. I thought it was just mind, and I sort of ignore it.

Rajivji: Ignore it! That’s the right thing. Just ignore it. Yes.

Jo-Ann: And I am finding that it’s getting less and less. It was more pronounced.

Rajivji: As I said, even if it continues, or it becomes less, or it disappears – let it be. It is a movement of the body to work out on its own. As long as you are going to remain focused on that single thought, as I said, that single object – nothing matters!

Things are going to come, and things are going to go. Things are going to get intensified, they are going to become less. So, what can you do about it? You can do nothing about it.

You can only do one thing, and that is to go to your heart source, and remain there, and sink there. That is simple. Nothing more should be done.

Jo-Ann: Thank you.

 

 

Take a Step Back to Being – How to Find and Abide in ‘I-AM’

July 28, 2011

In this article, I will try and address what ‘I AM’ is and what it means to remain in the sense of ‘I AM’. We have known of many great Masters who have talked about it in the past and from them we have learnt that the ‘I AM’ is essentially a sense of ‘being’ – not being this or being that, but just plain being.

Yet, as a teacher, I have found many seekers who are struggling to know or understand what this means. Even the most dedicated of seekers sometimes take many years to finally locate their sense of being and to remain stabilized there, although it isn’t so difficult to find it earlier on itself. My attempt in this article is to address that seeker, no matter what state of consciousness he presently believes himself to be in, beginner or advanced.

Please bear in mind that my attempt to write this is neither to change anything in you, nor to provide any such system where you can transform into becoming something else. That would be a sin to do so. You are already what you are. You are pure uninterrupted joyous Consciousness always, now and forever, and nothing can change that. My reason to give talks or to write is only to make sure that you ‘see’ this fact. Unfortunately, I don’t find many who realize this.

The path is not about becoming something else. Haven’t we already become so many things? We play so many roles and characters all the time. If we observe deeply, we can see that the ‘I’ has become so many things. I become a woman, a son, a lover, a husband, a mother, an employee, and if all that isn’t enough to kill me already, then I become a spiritual seeker following some spiritual path, identifying myself as a kriya yogi, advaitin, bhaktin or reiki healer. We identify with so many identities – so much becomingness.

Also, the path is neither about knowing more, nor about accumulating knowledge, for we know way too much already. We say, “I know how to dance, sing, work on computers, crack a business deal; I know how to work effortlessly for hours, to sit endlessly practicing meditation; I know the various ancient scriptures, the Gita, the Bible… ” So much knowingness! It is also not about feelings. We feel so many things all the time. We say, “I feel sad, happy, joyous, wonderful, jealous, sick … almost all the time.”

Nor is it about possessing anything. We say, “This is mine, that is mine, my house, my body, my car, my children, my job, my spiritual state…” and if we didn’t have these, then it becomes, “my problem, my illness, my depressions, my failures, my frustrations, etc.” What possessions!

Therefore, the path is neither about becoming, nor about gaining knowledge or feeling or possessing anything, even though that is all we are doing all the time, isn’t it?

Let us look more intensely at the above statements and we will see that there is one little word which remains constant all the time while everything else around it has changed. That word is ‘I’. We use it all the time but we remain oblivious of it. The reason is – we have hardly paid any attention to it.

The ‘I’ remains hidden from our gaze while we get busy with everything else that this ‘I’ holds. We become more interested in living in fragments and we feel we understand all of that perfectly. We think we know our job, spouse, children, parents; we know our practice, religion, pain, joy, emotions; our business, problems…, and everything that emerges from the ‘I’. But this is a delusion. We can never be in control of a fragmented life.

There is just so much inner conflict which is born out of trying to understand a broken life and our attempts to do so have failed repeatedly, leaving us completely drained. This will exhaust and sap our energy. Instead, if we would rather be attentive to the ‘I’ on which hangs the complete network ahead of it then this problem will be resolved. Much will be put into place.

The acting principle of ‘I’ is commonly referred to as ‘I AM’ or simple ‘being’. This ‘I AM’ is what stands completely alone, without any attributes, and to it, everything else (fragments) is added. This is the ‘I AM’ we need to know closely. We only need bring our attention to that which precedes such a fragmentation. What is prior to such a division taking place?

It is the ‘I AM’. After all, can any of this fragmentation take place without me being there first? ‘Being’ or ‘I AM’ is necessary for anything else to manifest ahead. It is a precondition, isn’t it? Even this entire universe cannot remain without ‘you’ being first. The ‘I AM’ or Being is primary to everything. So can I know my being – prior to all the add-ons, not just as a mental concept but as a real experience in practical life? Yes!

All I do is take one step back from where I feel my entire life pulsates and moves. I just take that one little step back. That’s all! And I find myself in and as my being. That is my true center.

I take just one step back from every emotion, thought, perception, feeling, knowledge, various meditative experiences and I am at that center.

Right at this very moment you can truly feel that center, which is your pure being. Close you eyes and simply feel your sense of being pulsating in your heart or at the third eye or anywhere within and you will be centered in your being right away, untouched by anything – free of everything. The calmness and peace you will feel will be almost immediate and profound.

This, of course, is just a glimpse because the mind will not let you remain in that center for long. It will interfere and disrupt your peace. But then all you have to do is to take a step back from that movement of your mind and you will be back into that center again. You can do the same while working through a difficult job, a bad phase in life or while going through any stressful situation. Can you not just take a step back and feel what it is like to be there?

With repeated practice you will find yourself completely oblivious of what the mind, emotions and stories do. And you will find yourself stabilized in that center – unmoved and untouched by anything. Everything will seem to happen on the surface and nothing will disturb the one-pointedness of your meditative introspection, which will allow deeper inquiry to take place.

Once you stabilize in that state of ‘I AM’ you don’t hold onto anything or seek anything. Joy and bliss, which are qualities of pure being (I AM), will hold and captivate you. Then there will no more be any wavering from that center.

One step back may seem like a technique initially, but eventually with practice it brings its own ending.

To conclude, I would say that if you want to be of this world with all its suffering and false promises, then take a step forward and embrace it. But, then be ready for the roller coaster ride it brings with all its highs and lows. And if you truly want to be happy, joyous and wish to walk in this world as if you completely own it, then just take a step back. The choice is yours.

Ignore the Thrower, Catch the Ball – Managing the Balls of Emotion

Taken from a talk December 25, 2012

Rajivji (R): This is a ball, right? Come on Shreekanth (S).

[Rajiv throws the ball at Shreekanth who catches it.]

Now, I threw this ball at him. Who were you looking at? The ball? When I throw the ball to you, what were you looking at?

Shreekanth: I just seemed to react instinctively.

R: Absolutely, so that was instinct; reacting to it. But, your eyes could see that the ball is coming towards you. And instinctively your hands came together – that’s looking! I was not there in the picture; it was the ball and you and the ball coming towards you.

This is generally what doesn’t happen with emotions – you look at the person and not at what’s coming towards you. Say, if a person’s situation is like this – that he creates anger within you. Instantly your attention goes towards the person. (in Hindi): “That person did something to me so I got angry.” So you are looking at the person who is throwing the ball but not at the ball which comes and hits you. So that’s why it hits you point blank on your face and you don’t know what to do! And there are so many balls coming from all directions. Like this… they keep coming … but you are not looking at the ball!

So, the first thing is to change your vision. Change your vision! Try to look at what comes towards you. First, remove the object that throws the ball at you. Remove him from the picture totally, and instantly you come to know that what is more real is the ball, that emotion – that is more real than the object (person) who has thrown that ball at you! But instinctively we always accuse, we go to the story or we go to that person, but we never look at what is happening within ourselves. In fact we are very uncomfortable when that comes to us – “Because of him I have got this” – it’s normally like this. We love to blame others for what arises within us.
But say, I remove the person from there, instinctively, like you did; you felt the ball is coming to you, stretched out your hands and you looked at it. It is instinct, because you have been holding balls for a lot of time so instinct is very much in place, right? But, earlier, when you started off as a small kid, it was not like that. When you are a baby, you are taught – “Here, catch the ball.”

But over a period of time – now you are a young man of 30 years and now you’ve developed the habit of catching balls very easily. But it was not like that earlier when you were small. So you have to start young which means that I have to start looking how it comes to me. Without looking at the person; without looking at the object that has actually thrown the ball, I look only at the particular ball of emotion that comes to me.

Now what happens when I look at it? I have to catch it. Then it becomes instinct. Then as you said, “Instinctively I was able to catch it, I did not look at anything”, that’s what happens here. Instinctively you are able to catch the emotion once you’ve developed that kind of proficiency, efficiency, practice; you’re able to do it. So then you catch the emotion the moment it arises. It may not be easy working on it. Okay, I’m feeling a sense of anger within myself, boiling inside of me and I am able to watch the movement. The object is gone; the only thing is that emotion which arises within me.

Now what happens? I don’t move from the centre. I am able to hold it. I am able to hold on to that uncomfortable feeling or emotion. It is uncomfortable, I agree; it’s not easy. In my body some things are happening; I can feel it, but hello! Let me just feel it completely, let me see what it is! And I look at it completely in the totality; I don’t label it; I don’t say it’s bad or good. It is what it is. I just look at it completely in the totality, from all angles. I feel it completely!

What happens? It dawns on me that it’s not so bad. Even though it’s uncomfortable to start with, there is a settling, a grounding; a stillness is perceived in that also – a state of poise, a state of stillness, peace is felt when that is happening – when the movement is taking place. The reason is that you have completely accepted and felt the emotion right from its point of origin to its end. When you feel it that deep, accept it and welcome it then that uncomfortable feeling becomes a part of your body; it becomes organic. How can you then run away from something which has become you? It is no more foreign to you. IT BECOMES YOU. It melts, dissolves and crystallizes into you revealing a centre prior to it.

So initially you will see that there is an arising of a particular emotion, it goes to a peak and then it falls; arises, goes to a peak, falls. And then? It arises and falls and
then just for a little bit. And then it dissolves into you when you completely feel it as a part of you. You can then intuit or perceive that the arising, the fall and the dissolving is all taking place on a centre prior to these movements. This is your still, blissful state of Awareness where you will now find yourself to be.

What has made that possible? It was only your observation – just the look of it. It is because we are looking at who’s responsible for this, we miss looking at what actually is within ourselves. In fact you should bless the person who gives you this opportunity because he gives you a door to really understand what is going on within you, you real true Self. So bless him! Every time someone gives you the opportunity, just look and smile, good. Do that much, forget about him and start looking at what’s happening within you, what’s really transpiring within you. Don’t run away from it; you can’t run away from it for long. Don’t suppress it for it’s no good. You need to really understand the movement and once you understand the movement of it, you’ll know that we exist prior to that! Because Awareness, you as Awareness existed when the entire movement was taking place! Now your centre has changed from that emotion to an Awareness which is prior to it – still, loving, settled, peaceful – and you go there; and everything is falling on that still Awareness.

And this habit of looking in the waking state – of my thought, of my emotion, and then recognizing an Awareness prior to that is what constitutes Self Inquiry – the looking – and then recognizing this Awareness, it starts to become more and more profound, more and more powerful and then it goes into your deep sleep states and then you see that even those states are arising and falling on that Awareness.

~ Rajiv Kapur

How to Drop the Ego

Transcribed & edited from a talk given at the Lonavla Retreat on February 18, 2012

R (Rajivji): Thank you for being here and sharing with me – joy – that we all are.

I have some good news and some bad news. The good news is that we are already the Self! There is nothing to do.

And the bad news is that we don’t realize it. There is one thing that keeps us away from Self Realization and that is – ego or ahankar – I am this or I am that …

So, the ego keeps us away from what we already are. Every spiritual aspirant or seeker reads this very often – that it is the ego which is the main culprit. He visits Masters and even they say, “Drop the ego”. When the ego is dropped, the Self rises.

Hence, every seeker is anxious to drop the ego. And most questions from a seeker are about this – “How do I drop the ego?”

The ego cannot be dropped! Why can’t the ego be dropped?

Who is dropping the ego? Who wants to drop the ego? Or rather, who is trying to drop the ego?

There is a story I thought about which I want to tell you. There was a very rich but miserly merchant who would not part with his money. He was very ill and was going to die. So he tried everything that he could to get better – all kinds of medicines and methods – but nothing worked. Someone told him to visit a sage with miraculous powers, who could cure him of his disease. So this man goes to the sage and tells him that he wants to get cured of this illness so that he can live longer. The sage says that it is possible.
The man asks, “Tell me what I should do? What medicines should I have? What pujas should I perform? I am ready to do any pujas and can do anything, just relieve me of my suffering so that I can prolong my life.”

The sage replies, “You don’t have to do anything, you can get relief right now.”

“How?”

The sage answers, “I see a diamond ring on your finger. There is a well next to my house, my kutiya, just drop this diamond ring into the well. It is very simple, I promise you.”

So the man goes off to do this with so much reverence and thinks that he will be fine now. When he walks towards the well, because of his miserly tendencies, he starts thinking – “Is he making a fool out of me? Maybe if I drop the ring in the well someone will secretly fish it out of the well and take it, who knows?” He says, “But, let me try. After all, I’ve come all the way to see him and it is such a long journey. He must be a Jnani, a yogi, he is known to be a great person. Let me do it and see what happens.”

So he goes to the well. He removes his ring and as he releases it with one hand, the other hand quickly catches it before it goes down into the well. The man thinks, “Are you sure you want to do this?” But reconsiders – “No, no, I must drop it. If I have to live I must have complete faith in this sage otherwise it will not work. I must let go of this diamond ring.”

Again, one hand releases the ring and the other hand catches hold of it as it falls. So this goes on and on.

The question is, who is the one who is dropping the ring? Fear – the fear that he is going to die.

And who is the one who is catching hold of it? Greed. The doubt and the greed that makes him hold on to it.

The greed and the fear are components of the mind. So I say – you cannot drop the ego! Every time you try to drop it, the mind reinforces the ego again. It is nothing but the movement of the mind to drop the ego.

The mind is a master of camouflage, a master of disguise. Sri Ramana gave a very good example. The mind is disguised as a policeman, but actually he is the King of thieves and the ego is his servant. The main person is the policeman, the mind – he is the master of ego; he is the father of the ego. Is he not the father of the ego?

What is ego? When do you first feel that you have ego? When do you first get the feeling of ‘I’?

P (Participant): When you wake up in the morning.

R: Absolutely. When you wake up from your sleep, the I-ness comes. Before I- ness comes, the mind has appeared. When the mind is not there, the world is not there, there is no ‘I’. In deep sleep do you have any knowledge of ‘I’? No. Except that there is a blank and there is happiness. There is deep rest in deep sleep. But the moment you get up in the morning the identification starts, and the identification is brought about by the mind. The mind appears first. When the identity appears that ‘I am so and so’, with that the world also appears to you.

So I say – forget about the ego, forget about dropping the ego! Catch the master – the mind – because, if you catch the mind, if you catch the gang leader, small time thieves are not going to do anything.

So my next question is – what is mind? What is your first awareness of mind?

P1: Space.

P2: Thoughts.

R: Thoughts. Space comes later. The mind is the various thoughts you identify with – ‘I am going to office’, ‘I am going to work’, ‘My boss always harasses me’, ‘Now this is going to happen’… These are various thoughts you entertain and you identify with them and that has become the mind. So the first awareness of mind is of thoughts.

So, can I understand thought? Can I try and observe and understand thought? Thought is the first component of the mind. What happens when you see thought? So far you were identified with thoughts and you were going with the movement of thoughts and that has become the mind; that has become ‘you’. The thoughts are dictating you and you have become the mind.
When you start to observe or witness thoughts, you find yourself before thoughts. You say, ‘I am the witnesser of thought’. Your centre has gone prior to thought.

As I look at the thought, even when I am in the middle of thought, there is no thought! The mere looking at thought is no-thought. Think about it. Anytime if there is an identification with thought, just look at the thought. It stops in the middle of the thought-sentence.

So then what happens? I have become the witness of my thought: I-thought. And then: I-gap-thought. I witness a gap in the thoughts. There will be a gap and then the thought. It is not that thoughts are going to end. Thoughts will keep coming, they are meant to come. You are not stopping thought, just looking at thought, being a witnesser of thought.

So now there is: thought-gap-thought … thought- gap-thought … thought–gap– thought … thought —gap— thought … thought —– gap —— thought.

Something is becoming bigger than thought. The space is getting bigger than the thought. The interval between two thoughts is getting longer and longer.

So I achieve this in two ways – one by voluntarily stopping the thought; I will it. I stop the thought and I feel a gap which is also called space. It is the same thing.

Or, I simply look at thought; I witness the thought at regular intervals. Still it is going to be space or a gap between thoughts.

A time will come when the gap will be longer than the thoughts. But that does not mean that the thoughts will stop. What will happen is that the space is NOT a gap will be realized. It is NOT a space between two thoughts. Actually, it is the background of thoughts. It is not a gap. It appears as a gap first, but later on, the space becomes the background, a still awareness. And there is only going to be this gap, huge space and on that these little tiny thoughts will appear and disappear, almost like waves in an ocean. So what is realized as a gap becomes bigger and bigger, and then there is a realization – that this is not a gap, this is space, a background space on which all thoughts are falling and rising, falling and rising.

So, I can look at my thoughts or stop my thoughts and I can recognize that background space right here, and look. I can do it right here if I have an expansive view of everything that is here at this very moment, which means, bringing many objects you see at this moment, in your present state of awareness; not one or two, but many objects. Look with a long shot. It is like swallowing all objects in that space. There is that stillness and in that still space everything is rising and falling. I have only to recognize that again and again, that’s all.

I just relax myself in that still state of awareness, in that space. I find myself one with it. Slowly that space grows. The certitude, the recognition of that space is so profound that all I see is space – even though it is from my senses. All my five senses are only seeing space; all my five senses are only melting into space.

And may I ask you what separates you and me, right here – space! A part of space touches me, a part of space touches you. And that space is the bond of love between you and me, between each of you. And where there is love, there is no ego. Remember, if something touches you – space, and that space touches me, we are that. All of us are connected, all objects are connected, through space, and I find myself in you and you find yourself in me and may I ask you what that is? Love. So I become one with you through space; it connects both of us. I become one with everything through space – mountains, rivers, chairs, tables, sinner or saint, woman or man, doesn’t matter. I am connected.

And when I become everything, where is my I-ness? The ego has not been dropped. It is automatically gone, because I have recognized something prior to it – the recognition of space which connects me to everyone.

Now, when I close my eyes, there is no space as I saw it before. There is space, but not the brightly lit space that I can see with open eyes. I don’t see objects when I close my eyes; the objects have disappeared. Everything disappears when I close my eyes. What I see is a black void. Blankness, that’s all. But the same stillness is still available there, not in the form of brightly lit space, but in the form of a dark void, a dark, blank void. The brightness is gone, objects have gone, everything is gone, and there is nothing. When I turn my senses inside which were projecting outside as love, inside they have become a blank, zero, nothing, a void.

Now, I see all my thoughts there again when I close my eyes. I see the stories that I have invented, I see my emotions, all the images that come and go, but again I recognize that one space that I saw outside of me has taken the form of a void inside of me. It is still falling on a still awareness; the only thing is that it has changed its appearance.

Let’s say you have a mirror and there is dust accumulated on it. The reflection is not good due to the dust and I can’t see what’s in it clearly. So I take a cloth and
wipe it. Now the reflection is very clear, the object is seen, it is beautiful. Christy looks beautiful in the mirror, everyone looks beautiful in the mirror. While there is light, the reflection is perfect. While there is bright light, because of the smooth, shiny surface of the mirror, the image is very beautiful.

But, let’s say at night, there is no light, there is absolute darkness. There is no image in the mirror, the images have gone. But can you say that the mirror is tainted? No, it is still shiny and clear, but it just doesn’t have the light to reflect, but, it is the same mirror. The dust is gone.

Similarly, when you close your eyes and see blankness, the inside awareness of the mirror is intact. It is shiny, clear, untainted. It is ready to reflect when there is light. ‘Ready to reflect’ means that the moment there is the waking state, it is ready to show a clear image of love. And when it is in a state of void, beyond the waking state, it may be dark, but it is still clear, shiny and smooth.

That is your mind. The only thing missing are the images, that’s all. But awareness is intact. It has not gone. And when I go deep enough, I feel the stillness, the same stillness, carried to my waking and to my dream and deep sleep states, I realize that I am that blankness, that nothingness. I am nothing.

So, when I am nothing, where is the ego? Is there an ego? When I am something, then there is ego. When I open my eyes, I am everything, so no ego, because I am everything. My individual identity is not there, I am you and you and the oceans and the mountains, I am everything. I find my centre in everything when I open my eyes – through space. And when I close my eyes, I find that I am nothing. So my life goes from everything to nothing. Where is the ego then? There is no ego. Between these two my life revolves – from everything to nothing.

Love is … when there is love, the ego is not there, both cannot be there. If you want to know your progress, there is only one barometer – is there love in your heart? No matter how much you are suffering, no matter who is causing you suffering, forget about it, is there love in your heart or not? If there is love, there is no ego. Both cannot be there together.

I remember a doha (a couplet) by Kabir. He says:

“Jab main tha, tab Hari nahin. Ab Hari hai, to main nahin. Prem gali ati sankari. Is mein do na samahi.”

This means:

“When I was, God was not. If God is, then I am not. The street of love is very narrow. Two cannot pass at the same time.”

Only Love can pass. Prem gali… The street of Love is very narrow. Only one can walk through and that is the path of Love.

Many of you are full of love. I see that – so much love. When it goes to such uncontainable levels that you cannot contain it, there is no room for ego to come in; because all you’ll find is Love, the fragrance of Love, through you.

~Rajiv Kapur

Guided Meditation on ‘I-AM’

Taken from Satsang April 2012

Today I will provide some insight into the ‘I AM’ meditation, how to approach it and how to make it effective in formal sitting meditation.

The first thing to understand is to be very clear about the goal of ‘I AM’ meditation. The goal is to retire the entire life force or prana back into the source from where it has arisen. It is the heart from where the entire universe manifests. One way is to keep holding on to the sense of I AM, and if attention goes to any thought or object then to ask the question, “To whom has this arisen?” and this leads us directly to the source. Slowly, but surely, the entire manifested life force will eventually finds its way back into the point of origin through such repeated enquiry.

Another way is to make use of will power to withdraw the life force away from all the senses, thoughts and direct them upwards into the third eye at a point between the eyebrows. Bringing them together at that point will reenergize our brain cells for deeper states of consciousness. It is not necessary to make use of breath or pranayama for that. Just a simple command and use of will power will help to withdraw attention from our senses and center that to the third eye.

The second step of this guided meditation is to silence the brain itself. Energized brain cells keep thoughts away and so excess energy is then made available, which was earlier dissipated and wasted in various thought forms. Gradually the brain starts to remain in a state of suspended animation and the entire energy is then redirected downwards into the Spiritual heart through will.

Having explained the theory, let’s start with the practice.

Keep your shoulders relaxed, face soft and posture upright. Mentally scrutinize your entire body. See if any body part is tensed. Through will, command that body part to relax. Don’t be in a hurry. Take some time to completely relax yourself. See if your breath is slow and peaceful. Allow your breath to follow a good steady rhythm.
Now, mentally affirm to yourself that you will direct your entire life force at a single point between the eyebrows. Suck your eyes a bit inwards and you will instantly feel a slight tension at a point between the eyebrows. Through will, you are directing life force away from the senses and placing them at that point. Every time your mind travels to some thought or other object pull your eyes slightly within and focus attention at the third eye. Take care not to strain your eyes too much. Be gentle.

Now look within your head. What does it contain? What do you see inside your head? Pull your eyeballs within and take a good look inside. Perhaps you will see some images or maybe space or maybe thoughts. Whatever you see, just command it to freeze. Imagine that whatever you are seeing is transforming into a hard block of ice. Any image, thought form, dream, and even the black space is becoming a big block of ice. Hold on to that image of rocky ice. In between release your attention. Don’t strain. Your entire brain is covered with hard ice and there is no space now for thoughts or images to appear. There is no space for even space to be there. Thoughts are now appearing outside your brain as they don’t find any space to move inside your brain. The fluidity with which thoughts, images, dreams and even space appeared is now completely restricted. You feel stupid and completely dumb. You can hear me but you can’t process anything within. The brain becomes a hard rock and transforms into a condensed form of concentrated bliss. That bliss pours on from your brain and into your eyes. You have become utterly useless, want to know nothing and do nothing. You find nothing more liberating than this.

Now, due to the intensity, heat is generated and the ice is slowly melting into liquid. The liquid dips slowly into your heart and accumulates there. It transforms into ambrosia. You consume that sweet nectar and that sends all the cells of your body into a dance in cosmic union with the beloved Divine. The brain becomes incapable of any movement of thought while the heart opens up to the Divine nectar of blissful Love.

~ Rajiv Kapur

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