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“All the sages of every tradition of spiritual realization agree that our true nature is luminous, loveful, joyous, blissful, eternal, non-local Presence. That’s what we are,” reminds Shunyamurti, the director of the Sat Yoga Institute in Costa Rica. But the ego has made six maneuvers in order to lose itself, and one to refind itself. “There was first a separation from this Source. And then a subtraction from the infinite down to the finite. And then a further contraction down into the individual—a kind of a tunnel vision. And then an introjection of the energies of others in that same state of contraction. And then within that, a fantasy creation—a creation of series of false views of reality. And then a projection of all of that falseness onto the world. That’s the lostness that we have entered into as a result of these six maneuvers.”

“There’s one seventh maneuver left to us, which is recognition: we can begin to recognize the plight that we have put ourselves in through these other six. And then gradually, we can recognize one by one, these which have become veils, or obstacles, to the realization of the infinite, eternal, blissful Self. . . . So the first thing we have to do is to recognize that this ego-consciousness that we start out in . . . is based on these false ideas that were originally introjected—taken in from the world—as children. . . . And we have created out of that a fundamental attitude toward reality which is based on the attitude we believe others have toward us.”

“And so we have to be willing to put that fantasy into parentheses. We have to be willing to say ‘It may not be true’—that’s what we have to first question, that reality. . . . And then by recognizing that you are consciousness, you begin to let go of all of the fixations that you believe are connected to the bodily identity. . . . And that allows us to go deeper inward. And in that going inward, we will begin to encounter the subtler energies that we don’t normally feel. . . . And we’ll begin to actually experience the inner white light that most people don’t encounter except at death. But it’s here—always. And we are that light. And we are the Source of that light.” The mind cannot reach that Source, “but through the letting go—that ultimate letting go of separation from that: the very primal subject/object duality, which was the first separation, can be healed. And in that moment, then we are one with the Source, and the journey is complete.” Recorded on the evening of Thursday, June 24, 2010.

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Student Comment: Ever since I was born, I was taught that God was there, that you had to ask God for things, that you had to say thank you, and that He was the doer, not you.

“What you were taught is the exoteric version of religion, which is a dualistic version,” clarifies Shunyamurti, the esoteric teacher of the Sat Yoga Institute in Costa Rica. “Ultimately, yes, God is the doer, but are you not that God also, part of that Whole. It’s the mind that is in a state of separation from that, and the mind wants things from that Being rather than wanting salvation from the mind itself, and that is what the Supreme Being offers.” Surrendering to the Self, to God, is the only way to end suffering. “Surrender is the very surrender of the sense of being a separate entity from the Absolute. And in that, all confusion ends.” Recorded on the evening of Thursday, June 24, 2010.

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Student Comment: I read something today which said that “everything that is transient is not real.”

“Well, the definition of ‘Real’ is what is in question,” begins Shunyamurti, the director of the Sat Yoga Institute in Costa Rica. “For most of the Eastern traditions, the Real is that which is eternal, immutable, and non-changing.” For a Westerner, however, “the Real” is typically understood as the “external,” objective world of common experience. In contrast, for Indians, for example, the “external world” is understood as Mahamaya, the cosmic illusion. “So in that sense, of course, everything within this flux that we call time and space is unreal, but that doesn’t mean we don’t feel it very deeply, that it can’t traumatize us, etc. A nightmare is not real, but you can wake up in a sweat over it. . . . And so this Cosmic Dream is given [to] us in the way it is in order to help us achieve the Real, and to begin to grow to levels of wisdom and awareness that transcend even our original Nature so that there is an evolution to ever higher and higher states. So there is a growth that the unreal makes possible to achieve higher Reals.” Recorded on the evening of Thursday, June 24, 2010.

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Student Question: Within the context of what he was talking about (meditating at great lengths vs. processing one’s ego), where do sanskaras fit in?

“They are what you have to battle,” explains Shunyamurti, the director of the Sat Yoga Institute. And the sanskaric desires, “won’t let you stop thinking about them. And the lower three chakras are the main ones that people’s minds are wrapped around. And they are aggression, paranoia, security needs, [and] sexual desires. . . . And then those get projected on particular people, and situations your in, and suddenly you’re thinking about all of that, and you're not meditating on God-consciousness; you’re using that time to focus on ‘Why is this happening to me?’ or ‘How am I gonna get this person in bed?’ or ‘How am I gonna get rid of this enemy?’ and ‘How am I gonna conquer this and that?’ All of these scenarios are much more interesting to the ego than the blissful silence. And so it takes a lot of work to be able to gain such a center that’s detached from all of that—that you can silence the mind in the midst of that, and then burn up all of these sanskaras.” Recorded on the evening of Thursday, June 17, 2010.

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Student Question: I have two questions which have nothing to do with one another. One of them is that sometimes I find I am in the child’s period of saying “no,” and I am going through everything that I don’t like about society and about people that surround me and about things I have done in the past—everything negative. I feel like I have identified what I don’t want to be. But I have not yet found what I want to be. Is this a normal transition? And the other question is, I know very little about the “Gaia Theory,” and I wanted to ask you if you think that nature has consciousness, and if that has anything to do with the Gaia Theory.

“Yes of course. Everything is consciousness,” reminds Shunyamurti, the founder of the Sat Yoga Institute in Costa Rica. “Nature is the realization of the omni-centricity of consciousness. All apparent beings are part of a Single Consciousness. That Single Consciousness is not localizable in one particular place. So you could say, Gaia has no ego, but Gaia is beyond ego, not before ego.”

And, in regards to the second question, “Yes, negativity is the basis of consciousness—and this, by the way, is the theory of Hegel. If you read Hegel it’s all about how wonderful negativity is, and we’re not negative enough. . . . . So it is important—but it’s important to be the witness of the no-saying consciousness and not identified with it so that you can raise it to the point where it goes beyond that ‘no,’ into a recognition of its ability to say ‘no’ even to its saying ‘no.’ And once that happens, then it can say yes to all possibilities.” Recorded on the evening of Thursday, June 17, 2010.

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