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:
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.
Try and go downwards (backwards). As far as possible, try to go downwards, even below the heart, if possible – go downwards! And just go.
Don’t look at anything.
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.
So, I shall complete my talk. Thank you so much. Any questions are most, most welcome.
Rajivji: Yes, Dennis.
Dennis: When looking in the emptiness, in the nothingness, isn’t it sometimes boring?
Dennis: That there’s nothing.
Dennis: It seems to be boring.
Dennis: The mind seems to go away.
Rajivji: Who’s saying so, that it is boring?
Dennis: I do.
Rajivji: Who is that “I?”
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Joseph: I meditate. I can meditate seventeen, eighteen hours a day. That’s what we would do in sesshin [Zen Buddhist group meditation.]
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.
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.
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.”
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.
Tim: Hi, Rajiv.
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…
Tim: Is that alright, or should it be on the left side?
Rajivji: Beyond the mind, there’s no “left-right.”
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.
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.
Tim: Appearance-wise. I see.
Rajivji: There is no mind.
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?
Rajivji: And not only “Tim” is not there, “I am-ness” is not there. Nothing exists.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
Tina: So, when you close your eyes, and you see the darkness… that 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.
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.
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.
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.