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Archive for November 2009

Thanks-Giving Satsang - 11.26.09

“Today we are here to give thanks to the Source of our Being,” says Shunyamurti, the spiritual director of the Sat Yoga Institute in Costa Rica. We give thanks to the harvest. “We give thanks for the fact that nature . . . provides for us the food whereby we can continue our lives.” And we must also give thanks for the community—whose cooperation allows the harvest to take place. So today we give thanks to the community, nature, and the Source from which all thanks spring.

And despite the narcissism of the ego—and our false identification with it—we must give thanks “for the fact that our nature has been created by God in such a way that we have the capacity to achieve liberation.” Which is really the greatest blessing of all. “So why not accept the offer our divine nature makes to us . . . and achieve liberation, and then offer that to others. And then we’ll have a world of thankfulness.” Recorded on the afternoon of Thursday, November 26, 2009.

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Being Seen - 11.24.09

“The odd thing,” as Shunyamurti, the spiritual director of the Sat Yoga Institute in Costa Rica, observes, “is that people want more than anything to be seen, and yet they’re terrified of being seen because they’re afraid of what will be seen. And there’s so much we want to hide, and yet we have hidden from ourselves that which is best in us.” As Shunyamurti reminds us, our true nature is Satchitananda: Being, Awareness, and Bliss. “But we have somehow generally cut ourselves off from that.” And in exchange, we have accepted a false self-image given to us by the unconscious minds of our parents and later by society as a whole.

But “each human organism is simply a portal for the one Cosmic Mind to flow through. And so each of us is That. We are the source of all power, all beauty, all love—everything that we’re looking for in the outer world, we actually are that. And because the world—being a dream—has the structure of a mirage, you can’t find it out there because what you will always find out there will be the shadow again that you took in as an identity that then gets projected onto the other.”

And this shadow, this idea of something “out there” that will complete us comes from a sense of lack. “Lack gets installed with the ego. It’s part of the ego. The ego has the structure of a doughnut; there’s always a hole in the middle. And it’s always looking to fill that. . . . And the only way out of that, again, is to be free of the vulnerability of the ego that is protected by the shells of defense mechanisms, and be willing to stand naked in Reality, beyond the ego identity. Beyond the known. Beyond any certainties that our mind can provide. And be fully present to the Real.” Recorded on the afternoon of Tuesday, November 24, 2009.

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Transpersonal Theory - 11.19.09

“There’s a field called transpersonal psychology that’s popular these days. But,” reveals Shunyamurti, the spiritual guide of the Sat Yoga Institute, “it’s kind of a misnomer because psychology deals with the personal. When you really get transpersonal, you are also transpsychological. . . . There is that which is trans or metapsychological within us—that’s what we call the spiritual.” And the first mistake that many people make on the spiritual path is identifying with the personal rather than the transpersonal. The personal/psychological realm is a labyrinth but “you can transcend that whole dimension of your being if you’re willing to disidentify from the person.”

Shunyamurti explains that it’s similar to watching “a movie that you really like, and you identify with the character. When you’re watching that movie, you're not in your seat in the theater anymore, you're in the screen. You’ve identified with the character. And you're going through what the character is going through, and you're feeling all the anxiety, you know, ‘Will the villain defeat the hero?’ or whatever is going on. And yet, the moment the film becomes boring, you're back in your seat, and you’re saying, “Wow that’s a lousy film,” and you're out of it. All you gotta do is realize your ego’s a lousy film.” It’s as simple as that. “And the moment you realize, ‘I don’t need to do that anymore. I’m free. I’m done.’ Then you're out.”

“That’s what all the spiritual paths are about. It all comes down to that. You can read a million books, but it all boils down to that very simple thing: You are that, just stop believing in anything else—and silence the mind that continues the labyrinth and this merry-go-round of suffering that you're on—and the moment you do that you’re free. So that’s all we’re doing in meditation, is liberating ourselves from an illusion that was never real in the first place.” Recorded on the evening of Thursday, November 19, 2009.

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“We are living in a time of ultimate paradox,” reveals Shunyamurti, director of the Sat Yoga Institute in Costa Rica. We live in a time when we are, collectively, the greatest distance from God; yet, at the same time, we are also closer to reaching God than we have ever been. This current state of isolation from God has led to much philosophical inquiry. “Thrownness” was the famous notion of Heidegger while for Jaspers it was being “Shipwrecked.” But the underlying point that these philosophers were trying to express was this feeling of isolation, of hopelessness and lostness.

“And that’s the sense out there of Kali Yuga, that the night is getting darker and darker all the time.” And it really seems that way unless we understand that “this modern age is actually an eye blink in a much larger context. And that this moment of darkness is a necessary prelude to an awakening to love once more.” But “the God we’re looking for isn’t going to come from out there somewhere. The God we are looking for is waiting for us to find that source within ourselves.” Recorded the evening of Wednesday, November 18, 2009.

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“You know the trick in teaching a spiritual path is that people come from many different backgrounds, they’re at many different levels . . . different phases of their journey. They have different existential concern, different questions, different doubts. And you can’t speak in a way that will reach everyone in a group like this,” explains Shunyamurti, the founder of the Sat Yoga Institute in Costa Rica. If one speaks at the highest level, then it may appear to many as nonsense or irrelevant. If one speaks at the most basic level then others may perceive no value in the teaching. So when addressing different people, there may arise answers that seem contradictory. This can be well demonstrated in the questions and answers of Ramana Maharshi.

And eventually the time will come when conventional answers will not suffice to answer our questions, and then we can “step out of all the boxes and all of the levels of prefabricated answer that any philosophy or religion can give us and discover what is the Truth of our being.” This journey leads to silence, “and then from that silence we realize we’re no longer an individual in the sense of a separate being, but that’s when we realize our universality that can be expressed in a particularized way, but it comes from the Cosmic Mind, it doesn’t come any longer from the individual level of mind. And that’s when we transcend suffering, and illusion, and desire, and fear. And we can truly know who we are, and the nature of God, the nature of this world that we are thrown into, and what the meaning, and purpose, and direction of our lives must be.”

But to be able to even reach the silence, there must first be a “healthy psychic structure that will enable you to contain the infinite within the finite.” This is why the Sat Yoga Institute provides a space “in which we can get beyond all of those ego narratives and social demands ‘out there’ that tell you ‘This is not worth doing’ or ‘This is too dangerous’ or ‘This will threaten your house of cards’ or ‘It will make your family hate you and throw you out of the house’ or whatever it is that the superego tells you to justify not going any deeper in the journey, which ultimately comes to a failure of nerve of realizing that you are and have been a stranger to yourself. You don’t know your own potential. You don’t know what’s even in the deepest place of your own heart. . . . And so when the internal conflicts have been dissolved, then the external ones also—which are projections of the internal—will fall away. . . . And so I hope you will all give yourself—as the moth ultimately must—to dive into the flame and realize you, all the time, have been the flame.” Recorded on the afternoon of Tuesday, November 17, 2009.

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