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Archive for October 2010

Excerpt: “It’s time to learn how to be in silence,” offers Shunyamurti, the director of the Sat Yoga Institute in Costa Rica. “I don’t think it would be appropriate for this evening to just be an evening of words. The time for words, even the most beautiful words, is passing. The time for gathering knowledge, the time for trying to understand what’s going on in this world, intellectually, is passing. It’s now the time to be, to experience, from within, from the deepest place, the realization of the meaning of all of this, but not from a place of theory or belief system. We’re long past the ability of our conscious minds to grasp what’s going on.”

And at the end of each lifetime, despite what we may have accomplished in terms of worldly success, we will all have to face our own conscience and face whether or not we have “fulfilled our mission, lived up to our potential, lived an authentic life. Or did we give in to the lie? Did we betray our Spirit? Did we follow the easy path? Did we listen to what our parents told us instead of our heart? . . . And how many have the courage to break away from the socially permissible paradigm and be different from the world in order to find a truth that you won’t find on CNN or in the other media? Do we have that courage? . . . And it’s only when we have found our inner center and we are connected to the Cosmic Self, beyond the individual self, that we can find within us a source of strength and of peace and of love and of empowerment—and courage—to face this unknown world that we’re now in.”

“And we can’t do this through simply theoretical means; we have to practice it. And this is where things start to go wrong for people, and they say, ‘Well I don’t have time. I’m too busy,’ or ‘I can’t meditate! My mind doesn’t stop.’ And rather than training the mind and realizing that you are inherently the master over your mind, if you want to stop it, you have that power. It’s a God-given power. It’s our birthright! But we don’t take it because we’re too fragmented. . . . Our egos are too filled with contradictory desires and agendas and fears to be able to have a consistent practice of anything, not just meditation, but almost anything in life.”

“So the problem is this: within all these egons that we have, all these little psychological fragments, there isn’t a fragment of a liberated being. . . . And that means you have to create an ego fragment that believes that it is spiritual. . . . And the idea is: if you don’t feel like you're holy and pure and liberated and a saint or a sage, now—pretend you are! And don’t think, ‘Oh that’s dishonest,’ because by pretending you’re actually creating an ego fragment that believes it, that is acting it out, and that acting becomes more and more authentic the more that you put on the act, until it is actually second nature. And the point is you’re already an actor; you’re already pretending to be somebody that you aren’t. Your ego is an imposter. But why be an imposter of a sinner and a loser and somebody who is an addict or depressed, or whatever you're pretending to be, instead of pretending to be the great sage, saint, liberator, avatar . . . and why not be that that God’s Will wishes you to be anyway—as long as you're pretending in any case? And the point is that you're pretending to be something you really are; that’s the great joke of it.” Recorded on the evening of Thursday, October 28, 2010.

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Student Question: In your book you make reference to a wave of light that’s going to affect the ego, against its volition. Could you please expand on that a little bit?

“Well, it’s against the volition of the ego in the sense that the ego is in resistance to God,” clarifies Shunyamurti, the spiritual director of the Sat Yoga Institute in Costa Rica. “But the more you create a part of yourself that actually chooses this, then the more that that comes in as a beautiful, blissful energy that you welcome, and it won’t be anything threatening. If you’ve ever read the Tibetan Book of the Dead, they talk about the spirit going into different bardo states. The first states are beautiful, it’s the White Light, and then it’s the lovely deities that give you flowers and wonderful foods and nectar. . . . But then if you fall to lower bardo states, then you get the wrathful deities. And they come and they cut you open and destroy the ego in a very brutal way. So it depends on what you choose: we can learn through bliss or we can learn through suffering.” Recorded on the evening of Thursday, October 28, 2010.

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“So what are we doing when we meditate?” asks Shunyamurti, the founder of the Sat Yoga Institute in Costa Rica. “To put it in the simplest terms, we are connecting our surface consciousness with our inmost center of our being.” And that surface consciousness, the main object of which is the ego, can handle the day-to-day tasks and demands of life very well. “But that’s not your Real Self. It’s a vehicle that we need to create. But we also need to know that it’s not us. It’s good to have a car that is four wheel drive and can take you anywhere, but you need to be able to get out of that car. Once you drive to a beautiful place, if you stay in the car and don’t get out and enjoy the scenery, then what was the purpose of the trip? So, most of you have a very well-adapted ego; it works well to deal with the world. But it doesn’t nourish you. And it’s usually running on empty because we haven’t gotten out of the car to fill it up with new fuel. So we need to get out of the car and go back into the core of our being from time to time.”

And as we refuel ourselves in meditation, we reach encounter the state of shanti which in Sanskrit means both peace and silence. But beyond the state of shanti, in deeper states of meditation, one reaches a state of indescribably blissful love. “And if you stay longer in the silent center, then you’ll go even beyond this love that has no object—it’s not just love for one’s own body, but it’s a love that becomes universal—but you will also reach a point where you realize that the center that you are is the center that is everywhere; it’s not just localizable in what you thought of as your physical body—that that center is everywhere and nowhere. And because it is everywhere, there is a love for all that is, and yet because it is nowhere, there is complete detachment and non-enmeshment from anything or anyone, and therefore freedom. And so there’s a realization of what freedom actually feels like; the Ultimate Freedom.”

“And just by sitting in the silent center,” the prison of the ego collapses, “and you see reality with new eyes. And that’s probably one of the main benefits of meditation. And you realize that what you had seen as finite, limited, impossible to solve, is easily solved because it is all infinite. So all we have to do is sit in that center; we don’t have to fight with it. . . . Once you disidentify from the mind and realize it’s not your mind at all, it’s just an implanted stream of consciousness, and you disidentify from it, it will stop; it needs an audience to keep going, and once you don’t care about it, it will stop.” Recorded on the evening of Thursday, October 21, 2010.

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Student Question: How do I reconcile the understanding of the urge for purification without the perception that I am acting from a place of fear?

“I think it is appropriate to have fear of an impure ego, of an unconscious mind that, through its impurity, could lead you to great suffering. So, not fear in the usual sense, but prudence,” clarifies Shunyamurti, the director of the Sat Yoga Institute in Costa Rica. “And if one hasn’t worked out the unconscious issues, complexes, phantasies, desires, one’s life will be driven by those—and usually you're driven off a cliff. So, before that happens, the purification is very important. . . . I would say that the first order of business for everyone is purification of the unconscious. And this used to be what education was for. It wasn’t to learn mathematics or geography . . . it was to purify the unconscious mind so you could be a free human being.” Recorded on the evening of Thursday, October 21, 2010.

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Student Comment: The way I have always understood free will is that it is not freedom of choice but freedom from choice; freedom from having to be faced with “Should I do this? Should I do that?” Freedom from that, and just living in a way in which you're not making choices, but you’re just flowing.

“You can have it at any moment,” reveals Shunyamurti, the director of the Sat Yoga Institute in Costa Rica. “The consciousness doesn’t want to give up the illusion of its freedom. And it thinks it can attain freedom, but it’s always a false freedom, by following one course of action vs. another. So the ego is obsessed with trying to improve its state of freedom, even in the very act of giving up its real freedom. . . . And in its ceaseless striving for freedom, it enslaves itself more and more and more deeply. And the only way to achieve real freedom is letting go of that whole project of striving to achieve it at the ego level.” Recorded on the evening of Thursday, October 21, 2010.

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