A Thousand Kisses Deep

Robert Adams would constantly say, there are no problems and that all is well. He didn’t mean that partially or in the direction of positive thinking that there are no problems and that all is well. He meant it as the total, absolute truth. And so you could say that what I really got from sitting there was that anything that I considered a problem or something that wasn’t right was my personal interpretation of what was going on in the universe that I saw.

So there are problems to the personal ego. And there are issues that could be better or corrected to ones personal conditioning, education, and ideas, concepts about how one thinks the world should run. There are problems to the ego. Get the ego out of the way, then there is nobody to perceive a problem. Small task! We’re not talking about an ego that’s well-adjusted psychologically or somebody that has a broader scope on the goodness of humanity or life. But even bigger than that.

If you’re using your mind to understand everything that your senses tell you is the truth, what you see and hear and taste, touch, think and even your sense of intuition, it’s all coming from your own personal ego, manifesting the truth that’s relative to how the person sees it. Ego and person, personal self, same thing. So that everything that we experience in our lives appears very very true, very very real.
And it’s called that. It’s called reality. But it’s a relative reality, perceived by an individual, and that individual is seeing it from their own mind conditioned by everything that it believes and what society is saying is correct– culture, customs and manners.

The senses try to lock one into the belief that one is a separate body/mind character and point you outside of yourself to the world to get involved in situations, desires, debates and activities. The senses demand attention by establishing reality and link you to the idea that you as the body are real, and then they act like they are your means of enjoyment, getting you more of what you want and also of keeping you out of danger.

Ramana had one basic, thorough, brilliant teaching, and that was Self-Inquiry. The question “who am I?” Who am I before I perceive anything through my ego? What is it that comes before the personal self, the perception through concept, and conditioning and beliefs? Keep questioning, what comes before by asking “who am I?” and who is experiencing whatever they’re experiencing in the moment, the relative reality.

And Robert was always very keen on the self-inquiry, too. He taught two things, two basic things: One was the self-inquiry and the other was ‘be still’. If you could be still, then you don’t need the inquiry. If you’re not still, do the inquiry until you are still. In any event, what will result is empty mind. Or should I say, slowing down of the mind, more gaps between the thoughts in the mind, less thoughts, less beliefs in the thoughts, a slowdown of the thoughts, even a disinterest in the thoughts, and ultimately an emptiness in the head. A you without thoughts.

So the teaching is about being who you are before you know yourself as this particular person. And when you know this, you know absolute peace. So you could say the teaching is a lifelong path that isn’t a path, but an awareness of knowing who you are. And resting as that. And from this rest, which is what we come together to do, rest out of the ego mind, personal self, and all the concepts that it’s holding. We’re not into fixing anything to make it better; we’re into seeing what is appearing to be true and seeing through it. Watch the conditioning arise, be with the circumstances that may annoy you, preferences, judgements of right and wrong or good and bad, self recrimination and on and on, and leave the whole thing alone.

So when you turn the light switch on there is light, when you leave the consciousness of the personal self and you enter into the Absolute Reality—spacious, solid, infinite, quiet, fullness. And if you leave the relative completely where there isn’t even a thought in your mind, you go deeper into the Absolute Reality, your true nature. From here there is only perfection because there is nobody there to think, compare, judge, or create a problem. It is impossible to create a problem from “no one at home”, and if there’s no one at home taking credit, then there’s nobody else separate from you either. You’re in the knowingness of the true identity, which is Oneness. Oneness means that even though you might see dozens or hundreds or thousands of bodies, you know them as the One Self, what you know as your Self.

This opens the heart center. When your heart center is open, then you see everything as One. No separation. Everybody is this oneness. All is seen from a point of harmony, peace, well-being. From here you can notice anything that arises in your consciousness that is opposite to this Oneness, Unity and Harmony. The deeper you can go into this Presence that you are, the more you can allow the things you disapprove of to exist. And what I’m saying here is that as a person striving to be a better person, those things that you feel that aren’t so good about yourself, which you see in others perhaps, that really can’t be faced. They’re either denied, rationalized, or buried, and so we carry it around with ourselves, not fully being who we are. We’re in a holding place. Even if it’s slight. It takes a willingness to face everything and that extinguishes it, so that your experience becomes One and that’s all, pure awareness. When this becomes natural and you start to realize that this is everything, and all perceptions of the person are just that—perceptions. Perceptions of appearances, of the dream called Reality.

Perceptions of a person watching appearances come and go called Reality, which is seen from Reality like a dream. Like a movie show. It starts –First the lights go down. Then they entice you with coming attractions. Then they tell you to buy popcorn. Then the movie starts, and you get involved and you forget everything else. You get involved, you like it, you get bored, you want to leave. And then it’s over. And then you’re back to your own living once again. The escape is over. You’re back to yourself. And here you are. Here you are. No agenda, no purpose, nothing to do, but Be. You could agree with what I’m saying, you could disagree. It really makes no difference. See how it fits into your own mindset actually.

But the beauty of the whole thing is that the Silence is predominant here and we’re aware of it. So the apparent reality can come up and meet it and try its hardest to demand that it’s the way like waves in the sea and then drops coming off the waves, separate from the waves, flying freely in the air—look at me, I am free—and before you can blink they’re back into the ocean.

That’s us.

So I welcome anything that arises here—questions or statements or whatever if anything is arising. Is there? What is your experience?

How do you bring the understanding of the intellectual into the experience.

What is the experience?

Peaceful.

What about the head and the thoughts?

Chaotic.

It’s chaotic?

Yes, even if it is chaotic, the experience is peaceful.

So you’re saying that you’re peaceful and you’re aware of chaos?

Yes.

Good. Good not that you’re aware of chaos, but good that you’re aware of the peace aware of the chaos. And I would say that the apparent reality, the chaos, is vying for attention. It’s saying “don’t leave me, I cause chaos, but I’m your chaos and you love me because don’t we go out and have a good time in spite of it, and don’t we solve our problems, and aren’t I always there for you – to give you new problems and new hopes, and new coming attractions down the road that are going to be better than the bad movies you saw weeks ago and months ago and years ago; aren’t we in this together; we have a good time, don’t we?”
“I know I cause you a few headaches, but stick with me.”

So we’re back to Who is having the chaotic thoughts?

The person.

So the person has some chaotic thoughts. You don’t even have to go into the thoughts; you just acknowledge it, and just watch it. I feel peaceful and I am aware of chaotic thoughts. And you do nothing. The awareness does everything. The doer wants to do something about the chaos, but the peace, the pure awareness that you’re sitting in, meets the chaos. Do you see that?

As you do that, what happens?

The chaos runs away.

It runs away, Beautiful! So the habit, the grit that the relative awareness, person’s awareness has with the mind being at the center as the judge, it all lightens, it softens. And what happens is that you have a bigger awareness of your Self. As soon as your awareness enlarges like this, what we call the mind becomes the Self. And then this mind of intelligence is on your side. It stops pulling you into duality of me and you and right and wrong, good and bad. That stops. This Self Mind can only know perfection. And you are That.

You see how much deeper you are now?

Yes.

And you are the recipient of this love. The Self is only Love and is always trying to express itself as Love, as You; it’s always there. The only thing that stops us from this awareness is the chaos, the loudness of the chaos of the personal self saying me first, this first, not until I do this, not until I get that, not until this happens, not until I get free—all lies, all of them. You’ve always been This. Always

————————————————————————————————

(reading)

Awake Awhile

Awake awhile.
It does not have to be Forever, Right now.

One step upon the Sky’s soft skirt
Would be enough.

Hafiz, Awake awhile.
Just one True moment of Love
Will last for days.

Rest all your elaborate plans and tactics
For Knowing Him,
For they are all just frozen spring buds
Far,
So far from Summer’s Divine Gold.

Awake, my dear.
Be kind to your sleeping heart.
Take it out into the vast fields of Light
And let it breathe.

Say, “Love,
Give me back my wings.
Lift me,
Lift me nearer.”

Say to the sun and moon,
Say to our dear Friend,

“I will take You up now, Beloved,
On that wonderful Dance You promised!”

Hafiz, from the book, “I Heard God Laughing, Poems of Hope and Joy”
Renderings of Hafiz by Daniel Ladinsky

 flowers

This is called “A Barroom View of Love”

I would not want all my words
To parade around this world
In pretty costumes,

So I will tell you something
Of the Barroom view of Love.

Love is grabbing hold of the Great Lion’s mane
And wrestling and rolling deep into Existence

While the Beloved gets rough
And begins to maul you alive.

True Love, my dear,
Is putting an ironclad grip upon

The sore, swollen balls
Of a Divine Rogue Elephant

And
Not having the good fortune to Die!

Only Hafiz could get away with that!

Anything anybody wants to ask, any questions or statements?

I suppose when the satsang starts so quiet and deep, small talk seems a little out of place. Perhaps we’ll just sit still.

———————————————————————————

I do have a question.

Stuart, I’ve had a question and I keep hearing it over and over again, and I know and I hear it from teachers all the time, about how you see the Self and everything. So the Self in everyone, in everything, the Self is all there is, the Oneness. I have never experienced that. What is that shift –so that’s a shift I’m praying to make?

You see those trees over there?

Yes.

There are about five trees, kind of round back there. So when I was talking before about you see everything as the Self, when I was looking at those trees, there was like a vapor escaping from the top of them, as if those trees were breathing. They were very alive. What I saw was the breathing, no different from the breath that’s given to me or you. And I was aware of that that before I saw the actual tree. I saw the Life Source.

It’s the Life Source in you, the Self, that’s breathing You, breathing everything.

Yes, and since you have the awareness of this Life Source, that’s why we call it the Spiritual Heart Center. We call it that because we have an experience of that. But in reality, even that is just a reference point. Everything comes from it, everything goes back to it. So that if you are not cognizant of the mind, body, thoughts, ego, apparent reality, as that softens, your awareness of the Life Source—however you are aware of the awareness, is predominantly your experience. And if it’s predominant in your experience, you see That before you see – or giving it credence to the apparency of the view. The deeper you go into the awareness of your Self, then that’s first. Then you see that wherever you look. It appears to be what it is—
that’s a rug—

Yes, it’s a three-dimensional –and you’re talking about what’s breathing…………

But I don’t want to limit it to breath. I don’t want to limit it to that.

So if you’re not using your senses as the focal point—like you’re looking at me and you’re seeing the room and the other people, but you’re not looking for any danger, are you?

No.

Not at all. It doesn’t enter your mind. As a person, it might. You know look both ways or look around the room to see who’s on your side, who you feel comfortable with. It’s not there. You’re seeing, but you’re not seeing for your own personal advantage. Your seeing is more open and universal. You’re seeing………

Without a story.

Great, no story. Who is seeing?

Consciousness.

That’s right, consciousness is seeing.

So all of this is in consciousness.

Everything is consciousness.

So the deeper you are aware of your own consciousness, the more that’s all you can see—an aspect of consciousness.

So that’s the Self?

Yes, everything is the Self. Everything. Everything that appears is the Self. And if it’s seen by the person, it’s given a name. But as the Self, no name is necessary. Mind wants to call that object by a specific name. It has many names—ottoman, hassock, foot stool. As the Self, it appears to support what we call feet.

And your body is the Self. Have you noticed that it’s at rest and doing absolutely nothing and it’s totally functioning? You see how there’s no attention on it?

It’s so miraculous how it works without having to do anything.

So you can see as a person if there’s a slight thing wrong with it, the Doer, who wants protection, who wants it to run smoothly, starts doing things.

I’m not saying a person shouldn’t do things, like take medicine, go to doctors, treatments. But I’m just saying to notice when the attention is bigger. The awareness of the form, even though you look at it and you see it, it has no weight. Or no push to make it do something different than what it’s doing in the moment. Which means that you’re wide open. And in that openness, there’s no constriction, no contraction, tightness of any kind to block the natural flow of its own working perfectly.

You could say that all conditioning about what diseases can do or not do—like a cold we know it’s going to end and we’ll get through it, but if you hear the word cancer, what’s the first thought that comes to you?

Death.

Death. So that’s a mass belief, that cancer cells will kill you. They will turn into a tumor, they will metastasize, they will invade, they will kill. That’s where our consciousness is as a society and we’re studying it. But I know that there have been remissions on cancer by removing the very idea that you are the body that has it so fully.

Or that it can kill you; that’s a belief that is set.

But I wouldn’t even start with the belief because that would take it into the mind. I would take it directly to the experience. If there’s no body to kill, who’s going to die? If your mind is so out of the third dimension of body-mind as we know it, and into this fourth dimension, if you sat really really deeply and removed from your consciousness the whole idea of a body that can die, then your body would either be sick, but it would be secondary. You might feel pain, but you wouldn’t identify with it. I’m not saying you don’t get treatment, don’t get me wrong. But the same way you started this question, how do you see the Self at all, if the Self becomes strong, as your knowingness as You, then that is before your awareness of a body.

Now this Self never started. Nobody knows its birth. It couldn’t. And since it has nothing tangible in form but Pure Awareness, it cannot end, it just Is.

Appearing as this.

Appearing as a Self, appearing as Pure Awareness. It was never born, it’s perfect now, has no problems and cannot die. That’s You. Appearing as a body that was born, has its experiences, then dies. I’m equating the life story with the body and the mind as a personal movie, a mystery movie for you to find out with all the clues and awarenesses who you are before the movie started. And we’re given tens of thousands of opportunities to see that. You cannot know this Pure Awareness unless you appear to have a body to discover it.

You have to be conscious, right?

That’s right. And if we’re not conscious, we’re unconscious. And if we’re unconscious, we take all appearances as reality and we act accordingly and react, and get excited or upset or angry. We make it real, as if our life depended on it. And we forget that we cannot die. We forgot. And we’re remembering. And hopefully, we will be fully awake before this vehicle, before this movie, terminates. And we’ll watch that. Bye bye body. Don’t mourn for me, I am Home, I am Free. I never was that, I was only This.

—————————————————————————————————-

A lot of us come to the intellectual knowledge of what you’re telling us. What’s the number one thing that stops us from directly knowing? I feel like I grasp what you’re saying but what’s usually stopping us; is it we don’t take the time to be quiet or what?

Well, what stops you?

That is the question.

No time?

No, not time. I’ve taken time. So what does stop me?

Believing that something is real and acting accordingly.

And the best medicine then is to do the inquiry? The deepest quality you’re able to?

Or be still. If you are still, there’s nobody there to do the inquiry. If there’s somebody there, you question who’s there. Who is aware of this? The questioner. Who wants to know? What a beautiful place to be. Do you see that? Questioning your own existence?

Who is here right this moment? That’s a very good answer. So you’re home. Are you not?

——————————————————————————————

Bhagavan used to say that people would say I came to the ashram, I arrived, and he said truly, that’s not really the case. You boarded a train and the train took you to the station, then you got a cart and the cart took you to the ashram. It’s a very simple way of melting into the understanding that really there’s no Doer. Whatever gave rise to this manifestation takes care of it. People would always ask him, the mind would always arise and people would say, well, what about this, and he would often answer let whatever brought that into being take care of it. whatever it is that is this manifestation, let that take care of it. Stay home in the Self, the light by which everything is known. And so in this way it’s exactly like we say, I came to the ashram, but we didn’t do anything. The train took you, the cart took you, walking happened. It’s not even any thought to walk from the cart to the hall.

Right. And what about the desire to get on the train?

Desire is just a thought. It’s not real.

Yes, but what about the desire of the person to be free?

Desire of the person to be free is the Self remembering that it hasn’t left home and that it’s lost for a moment the knowingness—

And it knows that feeling of being lost.

If the Self didn’t actually know itself, the desire to be free could not arise. If anyone is truly lost, they don’t know that there’s other. The Self knows. And therefore the desire to remember is there. If you don’t know, it won’t arise.

And that’s the riddle, which came first. So that the pursuit of satisfaction of knowing who you are, all the suffering that everything else makes, that makes a person look deeper or look outward or strive for the truth. There’s so many different ways. It goes on lifetime after lifetime after lifetime. Nobody comes to a room voluntarily and sits here for a couple of hours in silence pursuing existence if they haven’t done this innumerable times. It’s way too much to expect of an ego to be quiet for two hours. It’s ridiculous. What good is it to sit for two hours and be silent to an ego? When I could be out having a good time. Isn’t that true? Doing something, getting something, going somewhere. Getting my point across. Or getting drunk. Or anything. It would be better than doing nothing. To an ego.

And if you stay unconscious in the life, whatever awareness is accumulated comes back. You keep coming back to an apparent reality see through the apparent reality. And if you see through it now, you graduate or you stay in the third grade. There’s plenty of time, because there isn’t any. (laughter)

And having seen through it, you know that you never left home anyway. You were always right there.

You’re always right there.

But then when something comes up and it seems inviting and it seems desirable, then you leave this awareness to go into the world and forgetting starts. And then the deeper you go into the reaction and the manifestation, you can feel like you’ve forgotten completely. Until the time to turn around happens, either through suffering , depression, boredom, discontent.

The Self will always call you back to it, though.

Hopefully. Hopefully, you’ll hear it and listen. Or you could be like, I’m on another call. Or later. Or other tricks of the ego to postpone or devalue. As long as the ego has your attention and you’re interested in what it’s telling you, the pursuit of your life, and it doesn’t really matter if your life is going well or not well, as long as the ego has your attention, you won’t leave it. So you could say it’s the ego’s job to keep your attention. So it will tell you you’re doing well to make you feel good, and you’ll say yes, give me more, and it might. Then something bad will happen and then you’ll have a fight with the ego. But in any event, you’re still with it. So we’re back to inquiry and being still. That cuts the loop.

Now the ego will do almost anything in its power for you not to leave it. So it will tell you the inquiry doesn’t work, you’ve tried it, you can’t keep it up, and stillness is this, that, and the other thing, and this is more real and this is more important. And as long as there’s a rebuttal, the ego wins. So you could say it’s losing interest completely in the ego. Which is what we’re doing.

The ego can be very tricky.

Yes, it can be very tricky.

Yes, have you ever been to a roulette table? The roulette table has, what, thirty-six numbers, half black, half red. And the trickster on the roulette table, what is it? I’ll tell you. You get so involved with your favorite numbers or your corners or your black or your red, and then zero comes up, or double zero—that’s the trickster. You’re so involved with the game of thirty-six numbers, black and red, and you sometimes win, sometimes you win a lot, sometimes you lose, and then zero or double zero comes up and it tells you the whole game is void. All the thirty-six numbers are void. It rules out black, red, all the numbers, all the corners, odd and even, it rules out the entire game.

Then everybody loses everything. The trickster comes in.

So who are you comparing the trickster to? The ego, the Self?

It’s just built into the apparent life. It’s just built in. Everything ends, good, bad or indifferent. It has its play. There’s a perfect song by Leonard Cohen.

Music playing..

A Thousand Kisses Deep (lyrics by Leonard Cohen)

The ponies run, the girls are young,
The odds are there to beat.
You win a while, and then it’s done –
Your little winning streak.
And summoned now to deal
With your invincible defeat,
You live your life as if it’s real,
A Thousand Kisses Deep.

I’m turning tricks, I’m getting fixed,
I’m back on Boogie Street.
You lose your grip, and then you slip
Into the Masterpiece.
And maybe I had miles to drive,
And promises to keep:
You ditch it all to stay alive,
A Thousand Kisses Deep.

And sometimes when the night is slow,
The wretched and the meek,
We gather up our hearts and go,
A Thousand Kisses Deep.

Confined to sex, we pressed against
The limits of the sea:
I saw there were no oceans left
For scavengers like me.
I made it to the forward deck.
I blessed our remnant fleet –
And then consented to be wrecked,
A Thousand Kisses Deep.

I’m turning tricks, I’m getting fixed,
I’m back on Boogie Street.
I guess they won’t exchange the gifts
That you were meant to keep.
And quiet is the thought of you,
The file on you complete,
Except what we forgot to do,
A Thousand Kisses Deep.

And sometimes when the night is slow,
The wretched and the meek,
We gather up our hearts and go,
A Thousand Kisses Deep.

The ponies run, the girls are young,
The odds are there to beat . . .

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