Friday, April 20, 2012

Conversations at BATGAP

Asemic Shadows 4 by Seeking Tao
Asemic Shadows 4, a photo by Seeking Tao on Flickr.
I’ve seen many people spend an entire lifetime meditating and going to see every spiritual teacher on the planet, and then put forth 10 reasons (as you did yesterday,) why they wouldn’t or shouldn’t want to awaken: it might be too soon – it could be dangerous – I just want to be a good person – enlightenment isn’t necessary etc etc. So… there seems to be a contradiction, some huge conflict within.
Jill, the Ben Smythe interview at BATGAP,

Yes, I am carrying huge ambivalence over stepping into my own awakened state and this resistance makes me suffer. Adyashanti told me when I complained to him about being stuck in the witness that I would have to find my own way into ripping open my heart. He reminded me of those Catholic images of the flaming heart.
I recognize all those whispers of “yes, but” in my psyche that Jill was pointing out and her comment stung.

Listening to the Buddha at the Gas Pump (BATGAP) interviews each week as they get posted has become perhaps the cutting edge of my spiritual practice. I listen in the mornings before dawn while I do asanas or qigong. Often, a simple statement strikes home so directly and immediately, I am stunned into a deeper opening.

You may notice that the postings here have become less frequent. Chalk that up to the wrestling, the discomfort, discomfort, discomfort… with admitting I am stuck witnessing with ego so intact, and yet, at least the witness is established.
I’m posting some comments here that have prodded and eased me forward lately. I hope BATGAP doesn’t consider this plagiarism. I offer it by way of thank you and I don’t know, maybe it will help someone else along the way.

The TM self-realization – small s – is a witnessing type of realization, a primer to true realization.
It is still duality because the small self is alive and well either in the background or the foreground, but nothing has been united. It’s a state of extreme separation.

Jill, the Robert Foreman interview at BATGAP

Personally, I like Adyashanti’s expression radical duality.
Although I meet with Eve and Mary once a week to meditate and practice and share, I have been totally unable to discuss my discomfort with them because I can’t even describe adequately how strange it feels. A couple weeks ago Eve made the comment that I am her Spirit Guide. Nice to hear, but what rumbled round inside was the dissonance of definition: I cannot be a spirit, I’m not dead.
But later there was a shift: That’s it EXACTLY! I am like some character in a movie who has died and doesn’t know it. So, I walk around interacting with people, objects, events and everything is out of whack. Nothing is as it was. Nothing is Normal.
This may sound awful, but to me this shift brought relief and joy.
For the next week I felt as if I was on a retreat going deeper and deeper into realizations. But in the end “realizations” are just the mind’s saying eureka, insights that come and go. In the end, there was no shift to Unity and my discomfort returned.

Jill goes on to comment:
Maharishi used to say it was a very uncomfortable state which is why I called it painful.
I was only in it a short time before the energy took off but can’t imagine staying there.
It’s one foot in the apparent world and one out of it – not the reconciled peace I’m referring to now, where we have come to rest eternally, undivided and seamlessly moving between the relative and absolute realities.

You got it right when you said the emphasis in CC [witnessing] is on a kind of mental recognition of Self -not a living of it. According to Maharishi’s map we proceed from this witnessing state by devotion in order to close the divide between duality and unity. And that’s true, but he also said that practice is not the way after CC. It is love and devotion that closes the gap after recognition. So we must be willing to surrender to the Self – what we value most, and that would be our concepts and illusions – the biggest one of all being the illusion of self.

Jill, Robert Formen interview at BATGAP

Well, this is what Adya told me two years ago. The heart has to open and the only way I see to do that is to let go and not resist whatever comes up inside. Actually, so many of the restraints have already been burned through. I seem to have lost much of my ability to suppress feelings. Now, if I were also that facile at letting go of thinking… even as I know, all this is beyond my ability to do. Still I play my part.

I was awake to the Self for over 30 years before the shift.
I knew I was Atman but retained the ego.
Then one day, listening to an awake teacher, a word he used landed differently and something let go.
Of course, the shift didn’t match any concept of it but about a day and a half later, certainty came.
So a slow approach but the shift itself was “sudden”. Many call it “popping”.

…I know Neelam and other teachers of her lineage avoid concepts of stages. But for most, there is the experience of it unfolding in steps of experience. Adyahsanti talks about “head, heart, and gut”. This relates to the 3 major stages spoken of in TM circles, CC, GC, UC.
I describe this as the descent of the divine. When it reaches the heart, there is an unfolding of love beyond any description. We recognize all of creation exists as the flow of love and rests in a sea of love.
Also related to this is the refinement of perception and the unfolding in our experience of the extent and magnificence of creation. The profundity of a simple thing like grass or an insect is revealed.

…And then there is the “gut” and the end of that which divides inside and outside, the dawning of Unity. Ironically, we again find ourselves in kindergarten.
There is much more. The descent continues to the root and embodiment, then rises back to the point most suited for that persons roll.
This is why I say kindergarten. One cannot underestimate the value of awakening. But it is the platform for living our potential. It is the end only of the seeker, not the goal.
It is such a pity to miss the fullness of our potential due only to a dumb idea that we’re done.

David, the Neelam interview at BATGAP

I am so grateful to have BATGAP providing intelligent interviews and presenting awakening from many different personal perspectives. It helps to have clear theory. Perhaps it helps even more to have ordinary people tell you what it felt like.