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Archive for July 2010

Excerpt: “The silence that we share here is far more important than the words, and the connection that we make. . . . And so, this is a place to talk in a way that people rarely talk together in other contexts. . . . [And] that’s important: that we can think out-of-the-box together in new ways about what life is really about. . . . According to the neurobiologists today, none of you are in this room; you’re actually inside your brain watching a movie about this room. . . . We’re in the matrix; that’s why that movie was so popular. But is that true? . . . now, the most recent discoveries in neurobiology include the understanding of what they call ‘neuroplasticity,’ which means that the brain can repair itself. And it has the capacity to add synapses that didn’t exist before, and to begin to use certain parts of the brain for other purposes when necessary. And to achieve a greater capacity of whatever sort that is asked for by consciousness. So, it’s not the case that it’s a one-way relationship that the brain creates our subjectivity; it’s also the case that our subjectivity creates and re-creates our brain. So there’s free will even at that level; it’s no longer the machine metaphor . . .”

“And so [Sat Yoga’s] think tank is about freedom. But it’s not just to have freedom of having new concepts, it’s about using those concepts to open up our heart. So the think tank turns into a thank tank—we want to be here in a state of gratitude for life. In a state of an ability to love, and to feel the energy of love that supports our existence and our reason for being.” And in order to find a way to help the world, to enter the miraculous states of consciousness, “we have to find those forces that are currently outside consciousness and bring them in. And the ultimate outside—the absolute Other beyond consciousness, the force that produces those archetypal energies that then produce the ego and its conscious ideation—that has traditionally been called God. It’s a scientific concept. It’s a theoretical understanding of the fact that there must be this Ultimate Reality, and we have certain windows that will give us glimpses into it. But is it possible to open ourselves so much, to push the envelope to such an extent that that Ultimate Outside becomes included, and there is no longer a duality of inside and outside?”

“And so we have to return to that original capacity for transdifferentiation if we’re going to heal the world. But we have to start with our own individual consciousness, and use whatever margin of willpower we have to overcome the unconscious censoring mechanisms that keep us from knowing who we are, and from activating the latent potential that we all have to achieve what in the old days was called divinity. But really we can look at as a scientific term that refers to the ultimate state of psycho-spiritual maturity that human beings are capable of: the expansion of consciousness beyond that of this skin-encapsulated ego to encompass the entire world as a unity.” Recorded on the evening of Thursday, July 29, 2010.

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Student Question: I was wondering if you could talk a little bit about the differences between being in the now, the present, during meditation vs. when you’re going about doing errands and other activities in the world.

“In the field of yoga, these two different possibilities of what you can achieve in the sitting meditation and what you can achieve in the daily life meditation are referred to on the one hand as nirvikalpa samadhi, and on the other hand as sahaja nirvikalpa samadhi,” maintains Shunyamurti, the director of the Sat Yoga Institute in Costa Rica. “In sitting meditation, you can reach such a state where the ego completely dissolves, and there is a realization of, not only the oneness of all things, but of the presence of the past and the future; one enters the eternal now. . . . The greatest yogis say that that’s not enough. We want to be able to be in a state in which the mind is silent and we experience that eternal now even while we’re walking around and working and doing whatever we need to do in our daily tasks.” And once one is in that state, “then life is just joyous because you are seeing the Absolute in everyone.” Recorded on the evening of Thursday, July 29, 2010.

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Avatar - 07.27.10

“Sat Yoga,” explains Shunyamurti, the founder of the Sat Yoga Institute in Costa Rica,” is the science of becoming an avatar,” a realized incarnation of the Supreme Being in the phenomenal plane. Becoming an avatar is the greatest blessing that one can bestow upon the world, the most compassionate act that one can commit. But, as the saying goes, “with great power comes great responsibility,” and, therefore, not everyone may be ready to make this transformation; this act of surrender to God. “So first of all, everyone must ask themselves the question, ‘Do I want to be an avatar? Am I ready to undertake that incredible transfiguration?’ and ‘Am I prepared to do what it takes to achieve the reality of being an avatar, not just lip service?”

Entering avatar-consciousness means giving up ego-consciousness, the false sense of autonomy and separation from the world. It’s very simple, but not easy. “And as we know, there’s a huge struggle against the externalizing tendency of the egoic mind. And this is why we have used the metaphor of the salmon swimming upstream against the outward flow of the mind, until we get to the Source. . . . And these tendencies of the mind to flow outward, to externalize, to try to grab onto experience—to possess, to dominate, to get the jouissance of the entity, of the physical body—are what must be overcome through wisdom, not through fighting, not through creating another internal struggle . . .”

Every egoic connection must be severed. Everything must be surrendered to God. “And then, the descent into the body—purely for service—the bodhisattva ideal, is clearly recognized as the only motive for living. And when there are no other conflicting motives, then the flow of generosity of spirit, emerging out of inner silence, out of complete emptiness, is one’s natural state. . . . And then there is love.” Recorded on the afternoon of Tuesday, July 27, 2010.

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Atma-vichara - 07.22.10

“We have come together to meditate. But why? What do we wish to achieve through meditation,” asks Shunyamurti, the director of the Sat Yoga Institute in Costa Rica. We wish to achieve liberation from the ego—and specifically from the lowest, imaginary part of the ego—for whom life is a constant oscillation between desire and suffering. All satisfaction, a mirage. “The mirages create suffering because they create false expectations and delusions. And embedded in them is fear because the ego is alienated from its true nature. And its true nature—the True Nature of your being—is of course one with all that is, and therefore there is no fear and no desire because you already are, and have, everything you need within.”

And although Sri Ramana Maharshi himself once said that meditation could not bring about liberation, he was referring to meditation on an object. Nonetheless, Sri Ramana was a strong advocate of the practice of “Atma-vichara” or self-enquiry. “Atma-vichara means to realize who you are, beyond the ego. Beyond the mind. And so you cannot use the mind for that purpose. And you cannot assume the ego is the one who is meditating; that assumption has to be deconstructed. The meditation is an experience of pure awareness. . . . And so it’s this shift that enables one to be free. To be free of what? To be free of the ego’s insecurities.”

So we don’t want to become “spiritual materialists,” and build an ego around reaching high states in meditation. “We want to dissolve the ego. . . . But the ego is always looking for things to build up its self-esteem, its sense of empowerment in the world, without realizing that this is actually working against its true empowerment that only comes from dissolving the need to have a mask, an attainment—even a style. . . . All of those things create a self-image. And then we work to support that self-image. And that self-image is the very thing that veils the Real Self from us.”

“And immediately when you answer the question ‘Who am I that is behind the mind?’ there will be a state of peace. . . . and a sense of energy that is beautiful energy, it’s divine energy. It’s love. And it is there, within you, and it wants to emerge. And when you allow that to happen, you will find that you’re free of the neediness and the aggressiveness and the defensiveness. . . . You will have realized that the Self you are needs no defenses, it needs no style—it needs no mask. . . . And this is what enables life to then blossom and flourish in a completely new octave that the ego can never reach.” Recorded on the evening of Thursday, July 22, 2010.

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Student Question: It was mentioned in the study group that the ego moves through different assemblage points. Can you maybe describe more about how the ego moves through these different points?

“An assemblage point is an organizing principle around which the ego operates,” delineates Shunyamurti, the director of the Sat Yoga Institute in Costa Rica. “The first one is about security issues,” and the ego wants to cling to anything that will give it “a sense of security in the world—but it doesn’t actually . . . know how to enjoy them. . . . And then at the next level, it’s more of aggression, and anger, and revenge for having lost the nest, the womb of the mother. And then at the next one, finally there’s a relationship of reciprocity that becomes possible with others. Love finally becomes possible, but it still has this quid pro quo. . . . And so at each assemblage point, there’s more freedom, there’s more generosity, there’s more attraction to Spirit, to Love, to Light, to giving, to feeling one with nature. . . . So the great willpower that we need is to get past the lower assemblage points, and then the higher ones take us effortlessly to bliss.” Recorded on the evening of Thursday, July 22, 2010.

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