NOTHING TO ADD

Jan Barendrecht

Selected Topics

Autobiographical /\ On Kundalini /\ Poetry


There is no path, no method, no belief. I can only testify this. If there is
no path, no method, no belief, there can be no teacher of it. As motivation
for one isn't motivation for another, everyone has to start from scratch.
Gurus and sages belong to the Eastern culture and have a function there; in
the West, one becomes liberated and has no obligations whatsoever; it would
contradict the term 'liberated' in the Western frame of mind.


The intrusions, distractions, disturbances have a negative influence on
passive meditation (being the witness, observing thoughts, emotions etc.).
Digging out these disturbances might be a more effective approach for some.
It is a very deep going reflection on the "why am I getting angry, why am I
disturbed while in a traffic jam, why am I such an automaton to always react
this way etc." If one "knows" intuitively and experiences a subtle 'desire'
to be free from these afflictions, the digging out can be successful.
"Longing" to be free from these afflictions isn't a desire, as one's true
nature IS free from these afflictions. This "longing" is a form of
meditation, the form of "as you meditate, so you become". So one day, while
caught in a traffic jam, one could think: "What can I do" - the answer comes
"Nothing" and there is only "I AM". Once afflictions are removed, they never
'intrude' again.


Let's assume the distraction is doing the dishes and you don't like it. So
if you are the witness, it is the witness of " I don't like it" and IMO this
isn't a good meditation. The key is to let go the "being the witness"; pay
full attention so there is only "the dishes being done". Now where did the
dislike go? The reason why creative work is almost addictive is that there
is only "something being created"; there is no witness whatsoever. This is
the natural state; when it shines without attention and its object, it is
Self. The bliss that remains after having been engaged in creative work, is
the 'aftertaste' of the bliss of Self.


Indeed, the odds are against spontaneous awareness. Consider a person
in a glass house. The glass is extremely dirty so you can't see what's
outside. In what state of mind do you have to be, not noticing that the
glass gets cleaner? Trying and achieving never solves anything. Anyone on a
path has "work" to do. Just "do" the "work" - no trying, no achieving. The
major part of "what is happening" is in the subconscious - all systems of
meditation aim at "doing something" with the "iceberg under water" by
addressing the tiny top above the water. This is the reason why all systems
work, despite seemingly vast differences. The dictum: "As you meditate, so
you become" is powerful because of this. It sinks down deeply and "works"
all by itself. This is why Ramana Maharshi's "Who am I" works. It sinks down
deeply, besides, watching all thoughts and emotions come and go, doing
nothing with them, slowly destroys the feedback mechanism. Serving a master
in the classical Eastern approach works because of this. Instead of
accentuating the differences between "paths", "methods" try to see what is
in common. In the East, it was quite common to study under various teachers,
even of different discipline. By the way, the most impressive evidence of "layers"
of thought comes from doing japa, for instance when synchronized with breath
and walking. In a relatively short time, the mantra will start a "life of
its own", continuing without effort, even when one doesn't think about it.


All scriptures declare the
importance of brahmacarya - this is more than just celibacy. The urge no. 1
is to breathe. Somewhere I came across the story of a master who almost
drowned a seeker, then spoke something like: "If your desire for God equals
your desire for breath, I will teach you". Food comes at no.2. Where comes
sexuality? First, an anecdote. Once I had a discussion with my superior
about sexuality ("they" always tried to convert me to "married life"). So I
said: "Sex means nothing to me - it is energy that can be used for better
things". My superior answered: I like sex, but I would rather loose my
genitals than my little finger." I laughed out loud and said: "At least, you are
beginning to learn". What we hadn't seen, was that his wife was sitting
nearby. I never got a decent raise.
So I don't know if sexuality is no. 3 on the list. All I know is that for
starters, brahmacarya is far more important than anything else. You can
"just be" for 1000,000 reincarnations but without brahmacarya nothing will
change (except frustration maybe). So sexuality is a powerful means to pull
yourself out of the morass at your own hair (story of the baron von
Münchhausen).


The baron wrote more fantastic stories. In this case, the morass is the
worldly life and celibacy the "pulling at your own hair" that gets you
out... Is it that difficult? In the West, for a long time there was no other
way to tell the truth but in (fairy) tales and (fantastic) stories. The
story of George and the dragon is based on the same theme: the dragon with
its fire is sexuality, the princess to be saved is Kundalini. So the dragon
has to be tamed (get rid of lust), not killed.


Taking sublimation to mean: "modify the natural expression of (an
instinctual impulse, especially a sexual one) in a socially acceptable
manner", you are right - this will not lead to anything.. The process of
transformation of sexuality as I understand is different: First, sexuality
is differentiated from lust. "Lust" (craving) is what mind makes out of an
ordinary natural tendency. When the difference between sexuality and lust is
clear, lust (still in the meaning of craving) is an affliction that can be
dealt with and sexuality is no longer associated with anything. I vaguely
remember a little from the Greek mythology about it. The minotaur stands for
lust (sexual craving) and the mind is the labyrinth. Without the wire of
Ariadne (philosophical reasoning, Buddhi) one can not find the way back
through the labyrinth. When one's sexuality is "deconditioned", this
"deconditioning" will by itself destroy all other conditionings. All
institutionalized religion always suppressed this simple truth.


Transforming is the name - not sublimation. It is the desire for "true"
happiness that will enable one to start with transformation as an
indispensable means. As long as one is considering sex as a source of
happiness, transformation will remain out of reach.


There is a prize. It is called Self-realization and starts with I AM.
What is required is a desire for Truth and the resolve to accept the
consequences. With this prize, you are "at home" irrespective of time and
location. There is even a bonus called liberation in a living body. Some
call it unconditional Bliss (not dependent of the fate of the body). So what
are you waiting for?


Kindness, Humility, Restraint, Perception, Patience, Honesty, Generosity...
The free parrots in the Loro Parque here have these qualities and even
more. They are living the life of a householder according to Jainism and
several are doing japa on "I AM".The parrots express themselves in a
mixture of six to seven languages, requiring a bit more than a hand-held
dictionary to benefit from their teaching. If you make an error in your
notes, the teacher will correct it with white droppings on the error.


The prize is given at birth and comes in a wrap. All that has
to be done is unwrapping. Then, the pile of waste has to be dried and
burned. If the fire burns down all waste while the body still is alive, the
bonus is received. It is that simple.


When the 'problem of life' was solved, it was the end of all spiritual 'home-work'. Because all memory in the form of
"this experience was pleasant, that experience was unpleasant" was reduced to a fact file ( this event happened, that
event happened), what describes it well is the ancient myth: "The 'dead one' (phoenix) once again rose from its own
ashes". It is awareness as Bliss/Grace. The state is natural as a blue sky on a summer day. The remaining body
consciousness is like clouds in the blue sky, always leaving the major part of the sky blue. There are no experiences. In
this state, attention is always centered on this state, not as a witness; it is a fundamental property of this state. When
attention is not centered on this state, it is undivided attention on whatever caught the attention. There is never a
witness of anything; both states of attention are the same oneness. The attention isn't the attention from "before"; it is
light and free as a bird that can go anywhere.


It is not the point to realize the futility of struggle. The point is to stop all struggling and just fulfill one's duties, in
relations and at work.


If you can laugh at the situation, all the better. If you succeeded in creating karma so fast that you are overtaken by it,
it is another hint to leave behind all struggles. You have succeeded in getting at the struggle that can only be won by
loosing it (stop all struggle].


What is failure for you, isn't failure from my point of view. Because Western life is founded on personality and all sorts
of achievements, this foundation has to be discarded first. If it happens 'by fate', all the better. As the Western
personality complex truly can be called a disease, it is often a painful process. The Dutch Rosicrucians call it 'endura'.
It has to be endured - there is no other way.


If you succeed in leaving all struggles behind, don't care for success/failure and yet perform your duties, there is a lot
of light at the end of the tunnel. Contrary to 'worldly' life, where everything is used against you, in spiritual life the
same things are tools for progress. In Western tradition, it is usual to become aware of the 'discardables' by bad luck
and failure. The change that one will undergo when this is dealt with intelligently, is symbolized in stories like 'the ugly
duckling'.


In Western life, conditions are often extreme and many get a severe battering. This can lead to the insight that something iswrong and the insight can lead to the way of improvement. Learning the "way to Life" by the battering of life is the hard way. The easy way is by meditation. People who can take severe battering of life without breaking down are strong. With th proper insight it can lead to a shortcut in the "way to Life" that is impossible by the "easy way", because of the "strain", such a shortcut will impose. Only "strong ones" can bear it. Seen this way, what seems to be "bad" karma can be "good" karma in disguise.


Many (if not all) Easterners have a good knowledge of the ancient scriptures. Sometimes I have a conversation with a member of the Indian community here. When asked, "are you a vegetarian?", the answer usually is "no". When asked "why?", karma is blamed for it. Everything is accepted "as is" because of karma, so meat is eaten, alcoholics are consumed and meditation isn't meant for this life. Living with the knowledge of the ancient scriptures and violating it doesn't cause any conflict or friction - it is seen as karma.


There is no such thing as a free ride that will take one from life to Life. The life of the Buddha is very instructive. Consider the state of mind when leaving loved ones. Consider the state of mind when years of austerities bring nothing but physical weakness and exhaustion. Is this a severe battering or isn't it? Some will experience their hardships while working at Kundalini awakening. Some will experience their share of hardships from spontaneous K. awakening, as captives of an inner self-created Disneyland that is mistaken for Reality. The unpredictability of the hardships could be called "karmic Murphy". If this isn't clear, consider the analogy of a mammal with mange. It will cause itching. Itching will cause scratching. Scratching will cause wounds and the wounds will cause pain. The pain will bring temporary relief from itching. At this point, imagine that a strong, disinfecting medicine is applied to the skin. The pain will be awful, only because of the self-inflicted wounds. Had the medicine been applied at the right time, it wouldn't have caused pain. If one delays application of medicine, the wounds will heal by themselves and this too will cause itching. This will in turn cause more scratching and ulcers start developing. If at this time medicine is applied, these ulcers can still be causing trouble, when mange and the wounds are cured. Circus dogs and monkeys are quick learners. Applying the proper medicine instead of starting to scratch can be learned in a short time. Although it seems to be another trick, once it is done the difference will be known.


The last phase of enlightenment 'starts' without
karmic debt; no more reincarnation. In this phase, one will
spontaneously be entering and leaving nirvikalpa samadhi. Then, one will no longer leave
nirvikalpa samadhi but the senses and the mind can be used; the 'I' is
no more. Yet, there remains consciousness of the body (the clouds in the sky).
Eventually, the body-consciousness dissappears. When this happens, OM is
heard for the second time and one enters the final phase of enlightenment.


Ramana Maharishi (Venkata Raman) is considered to have attained
enlightenment at the age of 17. But watch closely: Who stated this?
Certainly not Venkata Raman. He left home and led a life, full of what we
call severe austerities. He didn't speak for many years. It was "the others"
who proclaimed his enlightenment. Great yogis like Milarepa never said they
were enlightened; "the others" did so. Sometimes, the spiritual path starts
with a samadhi. This event alone is the cause for a radical change in
behavior like Ramana Maharishi showed. The event changes life into
uninterrupted meditation and it goes without effort. It is the onlookers,
familiar with scriptures and the life of rishis and yogis, who will
proclaim" (s)he is an enlightened one". So enlightenment is a mere label and
suddenly / gradually doesn't matter.


Detachment from mind and body is easy when knowing the Truth. It means
well-being, independent of body and mind, far exceeding and being of a
different kind than what comes through these channels. The knowing of Truth
can be by recognition of one's true nature or by having unwavering faith
that there IS a 'true nature'. The detachment is more of a 'replace and
substitute'. The attachments shift, depending on path, from the 'lower' to
the 'higher' like divine love, ecstasy and the samadhis. Ecstasy and divine
love are experiences, meaning one can have or not have the experience. With
the samadhis, one can be 'in' or 'out'. So as long as duality exists, there
will be attachment. One who is truly detached is the jivan mukta.


Some of us have learned that all emotive energy can be transmuted. The
alchemists called it transmutation of base metals into gold. It isn't a
technique, a meditation or a practice: either one adopts to it or one
doesn't. Life is one continuing transmutation; adopting it will transform
daily life into continuous practice of transmuting. What are
'entanglements', 'attachments' and 'obstacles' in meditation-techniques and
other 'spiritual practices', become forces of progress because of the
energy, released by transmuting them. It is like going barefooted; no
conceptualizing, no intellectualizing, no bag of recipes and precepts - just
be attentive and work at it (transmute). The energy conserved will in time
result in Kundalini awakening, without the hassle and dazzle, likely to
happen with forced or premature awakenings. When finally one has transmuted
the emotivity, there will be the gold. Then, the process of transmutation
itself will be transformed into Self, Void, God, Perfect Freedom or whatever
name one will give to it for the sake of communication.


As all conditioning is
based on one assumption, the continuation of the "will to live and enjoy",
abandoning this "will to live and enjoy" has been the core of (hidden)
Western mysticism. Contrary to cosmetic changes like meditating for 20
minutes a day, the abandoning of the "will to live and enjoy" has far
reaching consequences (for one's behavior): it is a radical approach that
will cut off the root and not just a few branches. This approach requires
reflection and insight; no study or practice can replace it.
Thinking uses language. Language is conditioned. Language expresses values
that are dependent on culture. Even on a tiny planet like earth there are
vast differences in culture. So 'thinking unconditioned' is an
impossibility. The unconditioned is most eloquently expressed by silence.


I hope this clears misunderstandings about samadhis and the impression they
leave on the mind. It has become very obvious that Patanjali, describing
liberation as a succession of transformations, is right; after each
transformation, functioning is different from the 'before'. Rightly,
Patanjali avoids the entire discussion of dualism - the non-dual state is
natural and unavoidable, if one's progression allows it. So there is hope
for everyone.

Reality is nearer than one's skin. It is unconditioned, meaning that it is equally present in the states of waking, dreaming and
deep dreamless sleep. In deep dreamless sleep, not being conscious of Reality is what seemingly separates from it. Completedspiritual development would mean a state of being ever awake without any condition. From this perspective, there is no difference between dream and "reality" of daily worldly life: both are a succession of events, evoking automatic response from the mind. The response from the mind is twofold: emotional (bringing some feeling) and factual (recording the events in
memory). The emotional response will force one into action; the action can be physical or mental. The action will have
consequences, continuing the succession of events; one is caught in the chain of cause and effect that is interpreted as real but in Reality is but a dream. In order to cut the chain, the mind has to be used differently so that the automatic response will be no more. Instead of being involved in emotional response, one becomes a witness, realizing that pleasure and pain, right and wrong etc., only are opposites; one cannot be known without the other. Detachment means emotions without attributing any value or judgment to them. Detachment is but a prelude to the final state of being ever awake, where there is no emotion whatsoever. Detachment is surrender; dedicating all to God also means one is not (personally) involved. The difference is that those dedicating everything to God will at times be powerless against side-effects like ecstasies. Truly detached means one recognizes matters like ecstasy, knows the "other side of it" and doesn't get involved - until "getting involved in" will cease to exist as a possibility.

One might ask, if it is that simple, how come being fully awake is so rare on this planet? The answer is quite simple: the vast
majority of human inhabitants is very fond of dreaming - it is the favorite occupation. Here (in the "happy islands"), the dreamsare so sweet that waking up wouldn't be appreciated at all. In some areas, people only want to get rid of the "unpleasant" part of their dream, despite knowing all is a dream and in other areas the dreams are nightmares with such a seeming sense of reality that waking up is impossible.


Even to me the sky always is looking different. The hue is never the same;
it depends on the position of the sun, the convection in the upper
atmosphere and the time of year to name a few variables.. Compared to the
end of June, the sunlight now has a red-shift because of the lower angle of
incidence. If you would be an empath, you would know how sensitive your
animals are and how they are responding even when the eyes don't detect it.
Interpretation is always dependent on the input from the limited senses and
the knowledge in the mind. So one cannot deny the existence of sentient
beings and objects; nonduality could be called the journey to resolve the
relation between you, the other sentient beings and the objects, for once
and forever.


The dictionary says: Religion, a system of thought, feeling, and action
shared by a group that gives members an object of devotion; a code of ethics
governing personal and social conduct; and a frame of reference relating
individuals to their group and the universe.

A nondualist doesn't have an object of devotion; this would be dualism.
A code of ethics and a frame of reference, yes, but it serves as a reminder
to: what is a nondualist? Someone following a nondual path, someone in a
permanent nondual state or someone aspiring such a state? The question isn't
theoretical; one code of ethics is to forsake the first nondual state
(nirvana) until all sentient beings are enlightened. Remains the frame of
reference - is it Self or is it Void? If the first group is called
A-voiders, the second group will be named Voiders - sounds almost like the
days of old with the debates between Advaitas and Buddhists (in these modern
times, why not soccer games instead of debates?). Perhaps being is common to
all.


Duality:
A change can only be observed when something else is changing differently -
one event serving as the reference for another event.
The passing of time will be innerly observed (felt) when one's ever changing
mind (with moods) is the reference.

>From duality to nonduality: transformation of sentient being into unlimited
being (called God, Love, Bliss, Void - depending on one's frame of
reference). *

Nonduality:
A change can only be observed when something is unchanging - all events are
referenced to the unchanging.
The experience of time passing by will cease when the unchanging becomes the
"reference".

* The transformation also implies one's insight and knowledge will steadily
change - illustrated nicely by the following excerpt:


The beauty of nondual states is the absence of concepts. It is an obstacle
to think some concepts have to be mastered. Get rid of concepts - they are
fetters. We all know the "expected" behavior of saints and yogis. It is the
Eastern concept of saintliness. Now look how some are behaving in the West -
all of a sudden, they are falling prey to what we call "temptations". Are
they "lesser" saints and yogis because of it? No, they just couldn't live up
anymore to their cultural concepts of "saintly" behavior. Everything "swept
under the carpet" will break loose when it is least expected.


A fixed belief, like going to heaven and
hell serves as a foundation for believers. It will determine their mode of
thinking and acting. The Self neither comes nor goes, has birth nor death
etc. so Self has no foundation and the mind cannot understand it. Yet all
virtues (Ahimsa, Brahmacharya etc.) will serve as "pointers" to the Self
(although nothing can point to something that cannot be pointed at). Self is
bliss, the source of happiness, love etc. and as such it is the unseen (and
unknown) "reference" for all (beings). Once Self is known (realized),
duality will be gone and with it all foundations and references.


Jerry,

I just read your Why Method and I must confess to have been a zealous
practitioner of it in my early childhood, being the type that would ask why
the sky is blue. The Why Method is nondual, without accentuating any sense
of "I". A why that cannot be answered leaves silence, no name attached. I
would even prefer the Why Method over "who am I" because of the over-rated
"I" in the West.

> In fact, I've reached a point that in order to take my website to the
> next level, I will have to remove my writings and attached name
> altogether. I need that detachment. So what I'll have to do is set-up a
> separate website with my writings alone, and use the name Umbada.

But you have the detachment already. Some time ago, I came to the
conclusion: "When a famous artist makes shit, it is called a great work of
art. When an unknown artist makes a great work, it is called shit". Often it
takes a long time before something is recognized or acknowledged. I
recommend the (non secular) Why Method to be practiced in all institutions
of education. It would make a lot of difference. The Why Method is
integrative too. It would stimulate associative powers without the "running
out of control" of K.


> Let's say you have chosen your health as a very important topic.
> Ask yourself, "Why is my health important to me?" [...]

For this "why" I can give an appropriate answer :)

A perfectly healthy body means no more being subjected to (uncontrollable)
mood-swings of K. Because of the boundless energy, absence of disease,
"almost weightless" body-feeling, physically it is the closest thing to
being liberated in a living body.

> I'm not implying a person should not get married, make their bed, etc.,
> I'm just offering a way of looking at the "why" of those things.

As a young child, seeing phenomena like nice aunts and uncles changing into
quarreling flabby couch potatoes, the "why" of marriage resulted in a
"never, unless". The Why Method is an effective way to unravel the thread of
Ariadne.

 


From: judy walden <[email protected]>
>
> jan, you are absolutely right. i do have lots of likes and
> dislikes i love good
> food and i am very attached to my animals. i would hate to ever
> have to give up
> sitting on my porch and i would be at a loss if my computer disappeared.
>
> as for dislikes: i don't like being around and having to
> interact with others when
> it is for extended periods of time. i don't like overnight
> guests. and i hate it
> when my energy level is too low to accomplish some goals. and of
> course i don't like
> lobster's teaching methods.
>
> it is hard for me to view these likes and dislikes as problems.
> but from what i read
> in your post, one needs to become free of these, right?

In classical yoga, like/dislike is called an affliction. The Self is like
the sun when the clouds are gone. It shines over all, "good" and "bad" alike
and makes no distinction whatsoever. An analogy is that a mother will always
love her children, no matter their age, even if they will wind up in jail.
Classical yoga makes no distinction between like/dislike, calling it one
current of the mind where like and dislike are just (ever alternating)
opposite polarities, like the + and - of AC.

There are several remedies. One is detachment. This is not indifference. It
is accepting your feelings but remaining the ever impartial witness. It
means the feelings are experienced but not "owned". If you are detached,
your animals won't notice the difference. A detached one will give away even
what seems dearest when it is appropriate, whereas someone with attachment
will continuously be burdened with the possible loss of all possessions. A
detached one owns nothing.

Another remedy is incessant meditation - all impediments will be washed away
by flushing with the Self. It sounds nice, but actually it is an advanced
practice that requires familiarity with Self. If the current of like/dislike
is too strong, meditation will only add to frustration.

Then there is deep contemplation over one's likes and dislikes and all other
pairs of opposites. It will first show how conditioned the current is; one
single event can reverse the polarity. Sometimes a child is playing with a
big dog but the dog reacts with a bite, instantly changing like into dislike
for the child, probably causing a life-lasting fear of dogs. Suppose you are
dealing with an official who looks as if he could play the role of
Frankenstein's monster without make-up. The official behaves rude and absent
minded; you are developing a strong dislike. With the dislike strong enough
to react, suppose you suddenly become an empath. You see that the man had a
terrible accident in his youth, lost his wife and still is suffering while
his only son is in the hospital. Now how would you feel knowing all this in
a flash? What would become of the dislike?

The method used by many mystics to get rid of the opposites is incessant
prayer.

The current of like/dislike is worse than poison. The poison will take one
life only, the current of like/dislike will take many lives in succession.
Get rid of the current while you still can...


Nonduality comes from a time when scientists used to "attain" a nondual
state (there are many). In a nondual state, there is no "I" in the form of
experiencer or observer. It is a known fact that sense perception is
possible without being conscious of it; retrieval is possible under
hypnosis. In a nondual state, this "unconscious recorder" is the normal mode
of perception - perceiving without experiencer. This development is often
thought to be a side-effect of Kundalini and starts with things like
over-active senses. The "I" is only basic for self-preservation of beings
below a certain level of self-consciousness. When self-consciousness exceeds
this level, the species will self-destruct unless the members "destroy" self
(the "I"). Strange as it may seem, Self-realization is a "built-in"
necessity for survival of the species. A nondual state could be called a
state of "unconditional well-being" so "world" and "other" beings are
treated very differently. Unless one "attains" nirvana at an early age, it
is likely one will have a partner and offspring; many Indian saints, sages
and even the Buddha had. When Buddhism was flowering, nirvana (with
substratum remaining) was quite normal for householders.


John15:20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.
This is NT nondualism at its best. The day that is referred to is the day of "resurrection".


A language could be called a set of sound-symbols. Its elements are words and the amount of words of the set will determinehow many words will be required to describe a certain condition or (part of an) experience. The importance of a condition or experience can be shown by the amount of words to describe similar but differing conditions or experiences.

We can love God, the partner, the child, the dog, the car and the weather - one word for six different forms of love. The Inuit
have fourteen words for snow; for them snow is more important than love is for us. Nobody will object the expression "love for God". What do these words really mean? If God equals the absolute, it means one loves something beyond comprehension - would that be possible? As love requires a lover and a beloved, it would denote duality. Obviously, love for God could only be synonymous with : "experiencing" love itself, without subject - object relationship.

In Hinduism, there are many Gods, each symbolizing a specific part of human nature. When a Hindu says "I love God", most
probably it denotes something different from the meaning above. Question is, would the devotional feelings of a Hindu for the
"personal" God be different from the devotional feelings of a Christian? No, humans are remarkably similar. So by reading "Ilove God" in a text, the reader could make the false assumption of understanding.

Nondualism (advaita) is based on Vedanta; dualism (dvaita) is based on the same Vedanta. It is always a matter of
interpretation. One might ask: Is nirvikalpa samadhi the same for dvaitas and advaitas? One might answer: "it is the same forChristians too". Is it? Neither scientists nor philosophers do know the answer to the simple question: "Is the taste of sweetness the same for everyone?"

So when reading a text that is crisp and clear, know that this is just your interpretation of it; it could easily be that you disagreeon all points with the author. Reading about sugar is not the same as tasting it; what the taste means to one could be different for someone else; for instance if one prefers salsa over sugar.


Understanding the law of gravity and graduating on it doesn't make an apple fall any better. Likewise, knowing the Vedas byhead won't improve one's "practice". As the Buddha did attain nirvana without having to study it first, so can everyone :>

Ramana Maharshi became enlightened while undergoing the (virtual) process of dying. Yet his teaching was "Who am I?" andno disciple or visitor ever asked, if "behaving like one dead in a living body" was as powerful a sadhana as well. In Italy, there has been a monastery where the monks were sleeping in coffins instead of beds; for obvious reasons their
practice was kept a secret. If I remember well, it was practiced in ancient Egypt too with success; in the last book on Egyptian Gnosis, Hermes Trismegistos, in an effort to "picture" his detachment from the world, tells Pymander (his student) that he (Hermes) has no longer the sense of touch (can't even feel pain anymore), which happens at the end of transfiguration.

When self is considered to be dead, one is without fear, as all fear derives from the dying of self. From that perspective, one
has nothing to loose; only to win. It isn't courage, but utter contempt of death, pain and likewise "belongings" of self. It is the
mark of the ancient warrior (the slayer of self).


When the "way of self" has been abandoned, one is thoroughly aware that Love
doesn't differentiate between a relative and any other human. From this
perspective, praying is superfluous, as unselfish ones will already be doing
all that is within one's possibilities; compassion and Love don't have a
gearbox. Besides, one is connected to everyone, including those who suffer
and their suffering affects all of us, whether we are conscious of it or
not.

Yet it is meaningful to realize the cause of suffering: self. The
selfishness in rich countries is one of the causes of suffering in poor
countries. So the only "real" and permanent help is to slay self. Swami
Sivananda remarked in one of his books that it is better to lead one
individual to the Light than to build a hospital; this one individual will
in turn lead others to Light whereas a hospital will only move the suffering
to somewhere else (whether in time or location or both). As an MD, he could
know...


Rome wasn't built in a day; likewise, it is rare to slay self at one stroke.
Even those who are considered to have had "instant" enlightenment like
Buddha and Ramana Maharshi, had many years of "work" before self was slain.
They didn't compromise on this; Ramakrishna did. He taught that if one
couldn't slay the self, it had to be transformed into an obedient servant.

To become aware of self, start with a diary - write down experiences,
actions, reactions and motives. After a week, start judging them on the
basis of your own definition of self. If you come to the conclusion that all
was unselfish, you have to be a saint or a sage :) If not, you can reflect
on the things that are "in" for improvement. By becoming aware of self and
clipping its wings, automatically the awareness will start shifting to
"something" else (the witness) and this will accelerate the process.

Although to become aware of self may sound strange, it is like becoming
aware of the clouds on a rainy day, not hiding the light but the sight of
the sun, the source of the light.


If the word would have been singularity (condition of being one) instead of
nonduality, would you have arrived at the idea of negation?
The "official" meaning of nonduality is: "the interconnectedness of
everything, which is founded in the singularity of the transcendental
Reality".
It is quite possible to arrive at the singularity by what is called a
dualistic path; the Sufi Hallaj is an example. "Negate" (neti-neti, not
this, not that) is a tool of the nondual path. There is ambiguity over the
meaning of a nondualist; my proposal is to call a practitioner of the
nondual path a nondualist and one "arrived" at the singularity a
"singularist" or a "singularian". As it is a new word, no misunderstanding
is possible.


For early Christians, resurrection was what is moksha for Hindus and what is
nirvana for Buddhists; a shift in consciousness whereby one transcends all
duality and realizes that liberation and bondage, nirvana and samsara are
concepts.


A fundamental property of self is identification. What is experienced is automatically interpreted as pertaining to self. This willchange when identification with self becomes difficult or impossible (surrender and suffering), or when the investigating mind is turned inward (self-inquiry). The path of Love could be called concentration on one identification excluding all other
identifications. When identification stops (is given up), what remains is the perceiver, being perception itself, no matter the name given. This is enlightenment and the source of knowledge.

Identifications can be many, giving rise to the notion of differences, so that sensory states seem to be subjective. What is
recognized when all identification stops can't be of a sensory nature; this is intuitively known at spontaneous enlightenment and
becomes "fact" after nirvikalpa samadhi. After that, all identifications are unreal. Nirvana / moksha is the annihilation of the
possibility to make identification; the existing ones will disappear either during physical life or when it is ended. It is easy to say
one doesn't identify with the body; yet hardly anyone realizes what it means in practice. The "last duality" is feeling one's bodyand for a few this will disappear even before the body is discarded. Without the automatic thinking, the urge to breathe and all other body-feelings, the only link remaining with the body is from hearing and seeing.

The ancients associated pure consciousness with infinite power (energy). Infinite energy is what is what would be required for
observation without limitation. Pure consciousness has no limitation so it makes sense. Pure consciousness is immaterial and itsexistence isn't apparent, at the other end of the scale is matter and its consciousness isn't apparent. In between is a multitude of life-forms, where (material) existence and consciousness (with content) are apparent.

So one could consider identification a fundamental property of consciousness and the identification is always with "itself". In
matter, the identification is matter itself. Living beings too identify with themselves (senses, body, mind). When cognitive
"apparatus" (mind) develops to a point where the identification can be changed, the possibility exists that pure consciousness
will identify with itself again (if nothing else is left...). This leads to the musing, that ultimately even simple matter will "remember" it is but pure consciousness. In fact, this is what can be observed - ultimately a hydrogen atom will spontaneously disintegrate...


Although one's real nature cannot be described, once it is recognized
(enlightenment) this isn't the end of the road; a process will start,
integrating mind and body. One of the first stages is what is called union
of Shiva and Shakti, mystical union, union with God, nirvana (with
substratum) etc. After that, the "final" stage is Turiya, where the
"Indescribable" is the only state and nothing else can be "experienced".
This amounts to living "in" a body that is physically rather different as
for instance the states of waking, dreaming and deep sleep are no longer
present.

Enlightenment is the philosopher's stone, being able to transmute base
metals into gold. So this process is described in Rosicrucian literature as
transmutation (culminating in the alchemical wedding) and after that it is
transfiguration. It will be obvious that the transformation from a
"standard" human body into one, no longer being subjected to things like
sleep and the urge to breathe, takes a lot of energy so only a few will "get
there". It will be obvious too that the entire road doesn't have to be
traveled; one is considered to be "ever free" when transfiguration starts.


Ahimsa means nonharming, but is often translated with nonviolence. It is the foundation of Jainism and it is present also
in classical yoga as one of the five moral observances (yama).
Purohit Swami comments on it:

"Refusal of violence is love for all creatures [...] All life is sacred, all life is one; no one has a right to question
the sacredness of another, no one has a right to commit violence against another. The yogi who wants to find
the unity of life, should not break that unity. [...] Men differ in temperament, character, environment, but they
all stand on the one rock of Self, and when man commits violence on man, he commits it on himself; he may
not know the law, but the law will claim him, if not here, certainly hereafter."

So ahimsa is more than just vegetarianism; it implies love for all creatures and its practice could be seen as
preparatory to the nondual experience of unity. A factor, often overlooked is conscience. Although it seems to
be easy, to erase it, everything that enters the conscience will make an impression that cannot be removed by
mental action. The impression is an affliction that has to be dissolved through meditation, or will dissolve in
enlightenment. Before its disappearance, it will come to the surface. As many afflictions are related to violence,
ahimsa is a sine qua non in a meditative life.

Recorded history doesn't mention a society, based on ahimsa. It isn't difficult to see it belongs (belonged?) to
an advanced society; one cannot afford 90% of the harvest being consumed by rodents and insects and yet
these animals have a right to live. Transportation by road has to be underground to avoid road-killings and
transportation by air has to use a different system of propulsion to avoid the killing of birds. The present
difference in wealth between rich and poor is a form of violence, provoking violence. In a society based on
ahimsa there would be no poor. If in the present society food would be free for everyone, people would get even
more obese than they are now :>) Not so, in a society based on ahimsa. Well-being and sustainability would be
the buzzwords of an ahimsic economy. The consequent application of ahimsa on a world-wide scale would end
all discussions about good, evil and karma, for many an obstacle to the grasping of nonduality. There is no
discrepancy between Self-realization and "improving the world".


In literature there are hardly any pointers to the art of surrender. For
some, meditation is 20 minutes early in the morning and 20 minutes in the
evening. If surrender is "practiced" this way, it won't be successful. It
has to be without interruption. Only when performing art-like work that
requires oneness of performer, performing and the object, one isn't
conscious of surrender. Surrender has to be experienced in all that is done,
even in trivial things like doing the dishes or dealing with people,
seemingly unfriendly due to having a "bad" day. Surrender means one isn't
the owner of anything; it means one accepts all feelings "as are", without
questioning or intellectualizing or complaining. If one is overwhelmed with
devotion, singing is a good practice. As one doesn't even own the body,
consider it to be rented and this means it has to be treated well. The
side-effects of K. do have a purpose, be it sounds, images or sensations.
The aim of all spiritual practice is to experience Self without limitation.
The side-effects serve as the proverbial carrot to get and keep the ass
running. By concentrating on them, one won't experience anything else and if
thoughts arise, one is a mere witness. Experiencing Self without limitations
means the subtle Self-absorbed state of Self has to get precedence over all
feelings and thoughts. By concentrating on the side-effects one will not
experience the sometimes nonlinear decrease of feeling-awareness,
interpreted as void or absence of self etc. that causes anxiety or fear. It
is a practice that soon develops into a habit and from then on it will serve
as a sadhanic weather forecast :) When the side-effects finally subside, all
feelings will subside simultaneously and the Self-absorbed state is All that
remains.


Non-duality isn't experienced. All experience has a beginning and an
end; one's real nature hasn't. As this real nature doesn't depend on
anything, no duality is required. There doesn't have to be a one - a symbol
for infinity is zero (a one bent into a circle). Another "explanation" is
that one's real nature is pure consciousness which is the basis for
everything, so what one observes are but its manifestations. It is the
analogy that seeing the moon reflected in thousand mirrors doesn't make a
thousand moons.


In Sufism, it is common to experience ecstasies. When they are over, there
is the "longing for God" and when such a period is long, we would call it
depression. The difference is the knowledge of God which keeps the Sufi
"going". This oscillatory nature is rather principal; both the "longing" and
the "rapture" veil the subtle bliss of Self. In Sufism, the "goal" is well
known but it isn't called nondual.

In scholarly nondualism, there is no provision for the oscillatory nature of
human experience; it is seen as unreal which doesn't provide much help as
freeing oneself from it isn't easy.

There is a rule, that being fully aware of one of the extremes provides the
key to be fully aware of the other extreme. As it is far easier to become
fully aware when one doesn't feel cut off from the Source, reject rapture
and become aware of the "quiet" bliss. This will enable to reject the
feeling of absence of the Source as well and make it "bearable".

Apart from this, there are a few things that will either prevent or ease
periods of depression:
1) Light the home as strong as possible (with several flood-lights of at
least 1 kW)
2) Do not consume tamasic food / drink (generally, processed food)
3) Have regular outdoor aerobic exercise that stimulates both circulation
and O2 intake, like running
4) After the exercise, take a sunbath under an artificial sun
5) Practice compassion for those, in "worse" conditions than you are in.


To me the picture is just to Be ; the bliss of Self is present independent
of any activity. This bliss is known from the moment of Self-realization.
After the "blow of the flash" is over, it may seem that the bliss is
receding. This is a wrong interpretation; one's thoughts and feelings come
alive again, at times "overshadowing" the subtle bliss. The next "encounter"
comes under various names like nirvana, moksha, union between Shakti and
Shiva etc. From that moment on, one is always aware of the bliss of Self;
the very root of suffering has been extracted. This awareness seems to
deepen still when nirvikalpa samadhi turns into sahaja samadhi and
eventually it will evolve into a state where this bliss is the only
"experience" in a living body that continues to function "as usual" for the
non-initiated onlooker. This denotes a person where Self is the only reality
in a most literal form; the body can be "left" at will and it won't make any
difference, apart from "turning off the video". The Seer is unaffected.

The mode of expression will depend on the type of religion/discipline; in
dualistic religions it isn't advisable to say "I am the Truth" or "I am
God". Expressions like "dissolving in Love", "annihilation of the lover in
the Beloved" all denote the same: the disappearance of ego, leaving only
God.

Put in simple language, the unceasing "experience" of one's "real nature" is
nondualism. There is neither an "in" nor an "out", an "up" or a "down", "on"
or "off".


Some questions aren't meant to be answered - they serve as a tool for
reflection and self-investigation. When Self is the "only" reality and even
every cell of the mortal frame knows that, life is astonishingly simple
because all questions have gone. If one's life isn't that simple (yet), one
has to make a balance from time to time and eventually adjust things.


We start off, identifying with the body-mind, its perceptions and thoughts.
Some of us get to know "who we are" in a flash but can't express it. Then,
it becomes clear that the answer is always "I don't know" and the body-mind
starts to resemble an entire mind in the form of a cage of wires with
"electrical" currents running through it. Knowledge is rapidly increasing
and just when one thinks "now I know", some wires burn down with a big buzz,
like overloaded fuses, destroying both questions and answers (except those
for the sake of argument) and they are heard no more... The uncertainty
principle of spirituality. :-)


There is only one Self and there are no levels of it; perhaps it is more
instructive to use an analogy. Suppose there is a large, smelly garbage dump
in the pine-wood. Standing on top of the dump, its bad smell prevents being
aware of the subtle fragrance of the pines. When, by a play of the winds,
the fragrance of the pines has been recognized, the dump that was taken for
granted "before" is no longer real. It has to be removed. Then, a situation
arises that the dump is gone and by the play of the winds the fragrance of
the pines becomes unmixed. When the winds disappear again, the place where
the dump was still is smelly but without one's effort the bad smell will
gradually vanish, leaving the subtle fragrance of the pines as the only
smell.


Strictly speaking, nondualism is knowing one's real nature. Not knowing
intellectually but by "experience" (for the lack of an appropriate
expression). Although the transformations could be seen as "peeling the
onion", leaving one's real nature without the slightest veil, there's more
to it than just peeling the onion. Somewhere I came across the dictum "fear
is the main weakness of the flesh". For an a-regenerate, the fear consists
of loosing the body. For a regenerate, the fear is gone but there is a
reaction, the "jump" to the Immovable. When transformations are completed,
the "jump" consists of closing the eyes and ceasing to breathe. This means a
transformation has to take place to accommodate the body-mind so that
nothing happening to it will subjectively change anything or cause pain
etc..

This bypasses the entire field of siddhis, as they are a mere spin-off. From
the perspective of "peeling" however, siddhis wouldn't arise but from the
perspective of transformations the siddhis can even be acquired (not
recommended).


If mind is in a constant flux, it will crave for experiences. Because of the
accumulation of experiences, mind is changing constantly and this gives the
illusion of time passing by and change. If one is a witness of events, there
can't be the experience of time passing by. When duality ends
(moksha/nirvana) the notion of time will end too.


In Holland, there is a saying (literal translation) "to get a cigar out of
your own box" which means, you get something you already have.
Self-realization could be called the cosmic version of that saying and the
funny thing is, everyone receiving the "cigar out of one's own box" is more
than happy to "receive" it.


The untying of knots is something that can be observed. A lake in the desert
can be observed too and this bears the name of fata morgana. Much more can
be observed like the various states of mind: anger, fear, delusion, pride,
grief etc. These states could be labeled as unreal too, because some of them
will evaporate even before liberation. As Self exists without a cause, it is
correct to state that there cannot be a cause (like untying knots) for its
realization. The term Self-realization is contradictory; it is a term "for
the sake of argument" for those who are "on the path".


One has to know how the mind works and then apply the knowledge. Perception
will lead to interpretation and interpretation can (but doesn't have to)
lead to action (could be called reaction as well). For instance, perception
of a cat, digging out the daffodils, is interpreted as a threat to the
garden and the owner of the garden will revert to action by chasing the cat
away. If this happens often, interpretation and execution (the result of the
interpretation) will be transferred to the habit-mind. Even in winter, when
the garden is empty, the interpretation and execution will take place
because the process has become a habit; access to the habit mind is
difficult.

In a certain way, perceiving a cat in the garden has grown into a
subroutine.
Thoughts belong to the perceived as well. Perception of a related group of
thoughts can be interpreted too and execution can follow. Execution can be
mental or physical. It can be the reason all kinds of psychical problems.

In an authoritarian society, one can be sure to be filled to the brim with
all kinds of subroutines that could be called "defensive" and it will be
clear that being an adult doesn't per se exempt one from the subroutines
from one's youth. At birth, one only has a BIOS.

In passive meditation one can observe how this works out. It takes a long
time to get at freedom from mind chatter by passive meditation alone.

What I did, was to use this mechanism, instead of "just letting" it. It is a
well known phenomenon that one can train the mind to wake up from sleep at a
certain hour. All one has to do is to imagine the alarm going off and
everything else that normally accompanies waking up. Likewise, one can train
to think hearing "OM" just before one gets angry. In short, all "nasty"
subroutines can come under attack just by putting on the proper tag. It is
very effective in becoming aware before 'something' starts being interpreted
or will execute.

If one can become conscious of interpretation, it can be stopped, even if it
is a subroutine. Likewise, one can become conscious of execution before it
takes place.

Instead of giving instant peace, it is more likely one will first become
psychotic, because once the awareness of arising (of interpretation and
execution) takes place, a kind of chain reaction can occur, mopping up quite
a lot and this easily leads to ecstasy (savikalpa samadhis).

Of course Kundalini is heavily involved too. But she will work
independently; here is were "just letting" is the right thing.

Without verification, one cannot know if one's de-programming is starting to
work. Some kind of social contact is required. One could bring conversations
to issues that used to enrage; if the practice works one will experience
first that execution can be halted and gradually, interpretation will
follow. Also, one will experience one isn't suppressing anything.

A "normal" mind will always be looping subroutines. This is the mind-chatter
and it even extends to "under the surface". When interpretation and
execution have lost their "sting", mind will still be looping, not
subroutines but mostly NOP's. When an interrupt follows, one's reaction can
be effortless (spontaneously) and quick as lightning. This is the link
between martial art and spiritual life.

BTW, I just read that RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury) is caused by the brain.
Seems like processor-overload resulting in execution-errors :) causing the
physical damage.


If nirvana / moksha would be dependent on, or a result of, meditation, it
would be worthless :) What Ramana means is that the "so much desired state
of perennial bliss" is ever present; it can not be achieved in any way. From
the perspective of 'ego', many layers have to be removed and ecstatic bliss
is one of them. Now you've recognized it, it will be much easier to
continue 'business as usual', without being distracted by the ecstasies.
Another possibility is to do the things that are thought to be unpleasant
otherwise. In a state of ecstasy it shouldn't matter what one is doing. I
noticed that the 'pull' of bliss can get so much that some are thinking of
wanting to quit from the job and submit to long-lasting meditation.

The 'rationale' of 'arriving' at the perennial bliss is always Kundalini;
all that is required is recognizing the obstacles, preferably before they
manifest. Only these events require attentiveness and eventually "seclusion,
work and meditation". The ecstasies can be used in creative activity or just
a good walk. This will use energy and divert attention. As a coin has two
sides, the eventual depressions will lessen too. If one succumbs to
ecstasies, work and relations will suffer and one will find out the hard way
that ecstasy leads to nothing (the depressions will become extreme too).

Finally, if one has succeeded in removing all obstacles, one just can enjoy
the 'ride'. If one is very introspective it is possible there are no blocks
and the entire 'ride' is a joy. Ramana is a good example of this and
Ramakrishna, who was introduced to nonduality by the monk Totapuri, of the
other. There is a large difference between 'professional' meditators like
Ramana and someone who doesn't meditate or practices only a little. The
'professional' will get at nirvikalpa samadhi before 'attainment' of moksha
whereas the 'non-meditator' will 'attain' moksha first and then get at
nirvikalpa samadhi but it will soon transform into sahaja samadhi, which
isn't a samadhi in the proper sense. IMO the 'way of the non-meditator' is
preferable as it offers 'reality-check' and one doesn't get trapped in
samadhis.



>
> << Hmmm... every night when I go to sleep, and if I sleep dreamlessly, I
> am "out of consciousness" (unconscious) - at least the thinking mind and
> ego are. If an operation is performed and I am anesthetized, I am out
> of consciousness. Apparently it's quite possible to be "unconscious."
> I "get out of consciousness" every night when going to bed! >>

Consciousness continues, but it is extremely subtle. What happens in a
meditative state of total relaxation? Zzzzz... A model for consciousness is
a kernel with peels. Simplified, one's real nature is the kernel, then comes
a peel of deep dreamless sleep, a peel of dreaming and finally a peel of
being awake. But it isn't an on/off situation, it is more like
superimposition. It is possible to become aware in a dream and it is
possible to dream while awake. There are meditations where visualization is
used; while awake, visualization is difficult but it happens spontaneously
in dreaming.

What happens during spiritual unfoldment is the discarding of veils.
Nirvikalpa samadhi could be called 'resting' in the kernel, temporarily
discarding all peels. Nirvana with substratum remaining could be called a
modification in the peels of being awake and dreaming; duality has vanished
and no more impressions are made in the mind. This modification of the two
peels is rather easy and because no more impressions are made, one is freed
from reincarnation.

There are a few examples of those who could discard all peels, with the body
remaining alive. From the model it will be obvious that discarding all peels
is a complicated process in terms of physiology too, taking many years.
Although the idea of discarding suggests one is continuously loosing
something, in reality one only is gaining, because one's real nature is the
source of all happiness.

> Hmmm... The rocks on which i walk on, as i beleive i am conscious, often
> call for me to notice their 'deep' consciouness to listen to. There is
> _nothing_ i like more than to sleep like a rock.
[...]
The like for deep, dreamless sleep is because the sensory mind keeps
functioning. So there remains a trace of memory which is peace and quietude.
One could say that a little of the supreme peace of one's real nature
trickles through the peel.


Bondage and liberation are opposites. Samsara and nirvana are opposites. Tat
tvam asi (Thou art That) means +you+ are beyond all pairs of opposites. How
can cold be experienced? Because of the experience of heat. Every experience
is based on opposites like beautiful/ugly, high/low etc. When it is seen
that experience is always about a pair of opposites and it becomes a bit
like "the same old song", one might ask, "who is the experiencer"?

There are many roads to find this out. The classical roads are a joy, when
compared to "the same old song, or worldly life as usual". An analogy is a
dog, gnawing on the legs of chairs. When it has gotten hold of juicy bones,
it will forget gnawing on the legs of chairs completely (or just discard
it).

The classical roads often are called 'roads to liberation'. When liberation
has been 'attained', it becomes obvious that there never was bondage nor
liberation, samsara nor nirvana. One's real nature has no opposites - how
can opposites be perceived, other than from a 'position' without opposites?


Getting rid of dualism is like undressing in order to know one is born
naked.
Striving for eternal truth is like a fish in the ocean searching for wet
water.
Nothing leads to the Absolute, nothing leads from the Absolute and nothing
can change that.


"Ego" can be quite an issue for discussions as there are several definitions
for it. Perhaps it is more appropriate to leave "ego" for what is or isn't
and restate the matter: As long as the witness state can exist, there is
duality. This means one can be a witness of what one is doing, thoughts and
emotions. "Goal" of all practice is to terminate duality; it is impossible
to convey "how it is without" but apart from that it will show in one's use
of language.

In "life as usual" one is the doer of actions and the enjoyer of the
results.

"The "I" has the "choice" between activity (being the doer) or passivity
(the witness, the I AM). Yet some principle will be responsible for thoughts
and actions. So performing duties is done without expecting results and / or
as a service (to God). Not expecting is the effort. Being the mere witness
of thoughts and emotions is an effort too. What is more, these
"inactivities" are not states of indifference and in dealing with relatives
and friends one has to be genuine (no doer or witness); sometimes this is
impossible as being the witness can become one's "normal" state.

For an artist who is performing, there is oneness of performer and the work
of art being performed or created. If the artist is thinking "now I am
creating a fourth scale harmony", the attention isn't fully on the job. So
there is no witness; it is art being done. It is a state of complete
surrender of individuality; one just isn't conscious of it and yet one will
observe an "aftertaste" of bliss, that would be natural when individuality
(the sense of I am the doer) is gone.

In trivial work like doing the dishes one has the choice, either observing
thoughts, emotions and the dishes being done, or being fully concentrated on
the job despite its triviality and then it is surrender. Work is never
pleasant or unpleasant; it is one's interpretation that makes it that way.


By attachment I mean one's like or preference for some thoughts; when there
is like for some thoughts there has to be dislike for others. Not partaking
in thoughts simply means "leave thoughts for what they are, irrespective of
preference. As a rule, it is more difficult to leave thoughts charged with
emotion for what they are, as thoughts that are neutral. The link between
thoughts arising and one's actions is undeniable; equanimity is important.
Instead of trying to stop thought, it is more helpful to train the mind to
defuse emotional issues like anger before they arise. This will result in
equanimity which in turn will greatly improve the quality of meditation.
Because the mind automatically processes everything perceived, it is useful
and easy to clean the mind with the proper mantra.


Whether or not one's mind is clean enough not to obstruct meditation, is
something one has to decide for him/herself. For instance, if one had a
serious, unsolved disagreement with someone at the job and during meditation
many thoughts are arising on that subject, the use of mantra would be
beneficial. A proper mantra is a kind of mental virus that will attach to
mental loops (like anger) with the instruction to nullify the issue. This
nullification doesn't come as a direct "hit", but would make one aware of
anger etc. arising. At that moment of arising, it is possible to let the
combination intelligence/sensivity win over blind anger. When this has
become a habit, thoughts on anger will no longer arise. Repetition of mantra
will only become a habit when the result is pleasant; in this case, a mantra
is only utilitarian. So it is a different use of mantra; apart from the
classical effect, by proper use it will eradicate the cause for many
thoughts, by turning on awareness at the proper moment.


During the life of Buddha, many were practicing his teachings and
consequently many householders attained nirvana with substratum remaining.
Obviously, leading a spiritual life and having relations aren't mutually
exclusive. The Buddha described the nirvana with substratum as being endowed
with perfect knowledge, having done what has to be done, having halted the
wheel. From then on, he mentioned two possibilities:

1. one can rejoice one's feelings, as they have been purified from the
stains of all impressions and new impressions cannot be made anymore.
2. one doesn't rejoice one's feelings and they will be burnt also. This
leads to a situation (nirvana without substratum) that cannot be described
as anyone can imagine it to be entirely different from the previous; the
Buddha called it a microcosm where the laws of nature loose validity.

>From this perspective, one cannot possibly predict whether or not one will
rejoice one's feelings, as in the present era even nirvana with substratum
has become a rarity. However, the life of the Buddha enables one to lift the
veil even "before one is there". For the Buddha, suffering became the main
issue. If one recognizes a period in life, where one had to take such a
beating that one would have preferred to continue life without feelings, the
impression has been created that will cause one to opt for 2.. Which leaves
the rest of us to evolve through genuine relationships.