Saturday, July 16, 2011
This Interested Me... (aka no title today)
Buddha At the Gas Pump had an interesting interview with a fellow by the name of Jan Esman. Rather than address the points in it, I went to Jan’s website and clipped a bit of his teaching. I feel like things for me are taking a new direction and this may be a good way to kind of shift the discussion gradually.
I hope you have the time to listen to Jan’s story. If not, maybe you can read on:
Pure is-ness is prior to I AM. In pure is-ness, there is no "I" that "IS", hence no I AM.
I AM is a gross state that does resemble the absolute state of pure being, but it has a subtle ignorance at its core…
Self-remembrance [meaning inquiry or resting as awareness?] leads to the I AM state, and no further.
Once fairly established in the I AM-ness, your awareness can fold back in on itself and short circuit, so to speak.
But the step from I AM to pure being is best taken by grace and Shakti.
It is so easy to get stuck in I AM and think you have reached the goal…
In I AM ness you are a witness to everything exterior including all levels of the mind and ego, except I-ness. But the final wipe out of ignorance has not taken place, there is still an I that believes it IS and it claims to be the Self, but it is not.
In basic Self-realization, this sense goes away also and there is just serene void.
Self-realization is prior to soul.
Soul-realization is realizing one's I AM-ness…
Last year I asked Adya about being stuck in the witness. He said he couldn’t tell me how to do it, but I had to learn to witness from the heart and not the mind. I had no idea even what “witnessing from the heart” might mean. A heart does not observe, a heart dives in and unifies. Although, yes, a heart can look upon with love. And, something seemed to soften. The gap began to close, or so I recollect. Still, despite a feeling of emptiness, I still remain with ego.
I also seem to have lost the interest or ability even to practice self inquiry, resting as awareness, seeing into no-self: all the things I have been doing. No more doing! I have flung myself off some cliff.
I want to just drop the thinking and trying, and simply do.
I want to drop deep and let the energies I've cultivated through my Taoist practice and working with Evie (helping her with her cancer)... I want to just drop into That. Even, I would say, even something, the sweetness, beyond all Those.
Access to I AM is not access to the Self.
It is access to "a higher self", but not The Self.
You can use I AM as a doorway, but it is easy to get stuck there…
I AM is thick as a brick, so to speak. It is really a kind of voidish, subtle self without form.
Personality can observe. When I AM and personality get mixed, you have ego.
I AM wants to be something, so mind offers its dubious services. This is the birthplace of personality.
Access to “a higher self” that is still not what I’d call The Self seems to be the essence of my Taoist teaching. I have considered this a shortcoming, and yet I have enjoyed and benefited immensely from the practice. In fact, I’d even say, “It has been necessary.”
Access to Self rather than I AM is best achieved by "riding" on a surge of Shakti since Shakti is the Self. This usually requires shaktipat (kundalini-awakening). If you, however, can experience awareness as pure being-energy and let awareness become fully aware of itself, then you can momentarily snap out of I AM-ness and into pure being, or is-ness.
I am wondering if spontaneous qigong and channeling are another means to “riding on a surge of Shakti.” It seems to be the way I am naturally progressing.
Try the shakti-breathing… Here it is:
1.Breathe in to the count of three. Sense energy rising up the spine to the brain.
2.Hold your breath to the count of three. Sense energy radiating from the brain in all directions.
3.Breathe out to the count of three. Sense energy radiating from the brain in all directions. (or from the entire body).
It is important to find a nice and relaxed tempo so you can keep at it uninterrupted for 45 minutes. If bliss comes or shakti fills your body with love, just surrender to it and merge.
This doesn’t seem that far removed from what I was recently telling my friend Mary to try, though it was something I just made up as I saw the truth in it.
Mary can rest in a solid quiet meditation. But its very solidness has becomes a restricted solidity that she’d like to grow/go beyond.
“To go higher you must go deeper,” my Taoist teacher says.
I saw a rock dropped into a glass of water. As the rock settles, notice how the water rises, maybe even overflows. Mary needs to do this.
Breath out, exhale through the eyes.
Feel the breath, the energy and light resting in the belly on the inhalation and then direct that out through the eyes, exhale.
I told her about Annie – consciousness streams out through our eyes. Practice that consciously.
How did I know this? I was channeling and could see and feel it and even facilitate the flow by moving my hand along her torso. My Taoist practice seems to be providing access to a gentle Shaktipat ability.
It’s not the “direct path” of the neo-advaitist, but it seems to be “my path.”
P.S. In the BatGap interview, near the very end, Jan says:
Kundalini is not a restricted energy within the body-mind, astral system, where ever... it is a condensation of the Self, like a contraction. And as such, it contains the essence of your ignornace.
These words hit me like the beauty of a poem. I understand yet for a moment cannot explain. There were only tears. True Self becomes our ignorance, even as it moves to set us free. My God, the beauty!