26 October 2008

Zen: Seeing into one's own nature

Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought. 

An autumn night... don't think your life, didn't matter. 

There is nothing you can see that is not a flower; there is nothing you can think that is not the moon.

At any given moment, I open my eyes and exist. And before that, during all eternity, what was there? Nothing.
Ugo Betti

The torch of doubt and chaos, this is what the sage steers by.

It is everywhere.

To a mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders.

If you cannot find the truth right where you are, where else do you expect to find it?

Zazen is itself enlightenment.

The whole moon and the entire sky are reflected in one dewdrop on the grass. 

There is no beginning to practice nor end to enlightenment; There is no beginning to enlightenment nor end to practice.

And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.
T.S. Eliot

When you are deluded and full of doubt, even a thousand books of scripture are not enough. When you have realized understanding, even one word is too much. 

Should you desire great tranquility, prepare to sweat white beads.

Zen: Seeing into one's own nature.

How do you step from the top of a 100-foot pole?

It is better to practice a little than talk a lot.
Muso Kokushi

We shape clay into a pot, but it is the emptiness inside that holds whatever we want.
Lao Tzu

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
Lao Tzu

So little time, so little to do.
Oscar Levant

The only Zen you find on the tops of mountains is the Zen you bring up there.
Robert M. Pirsig

The fundamental delusion of humanity is to suppose that I am here and you are out there.
Yasutani Roshi

The quieter you become, the more you can hear.
Baba Ram Dass

Natural and super-natural, temporal and eternal - continuums, not absolutes.
Albert Schweitzer (paraphrased)

You must neither strive for truth nor seek to lose your illusions.
The Shodoka

We have two eyes to see two sides of things, but there must be a third eye which will see everything at the same time and yet not see anything. That is to understand Zen.
D. T. Suzuki

As long as you seek for something, you will get the shadow of reality and not reality itself. 
Shunryu Suzuki

Zen is not some kind of excitement, but merely concentration on our usual everyday routine.
Shunkyu Suzuki

In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's mind there are few.
Shunryu Suzuki

The most important point is to accept yourself and stand on your two feet.
Shunryu Suzuki

Life is like stepping onto a boat that is about to sail out to sea and sink.
Shunryu Suzuki

My heart burns like fire but my eyes are as cold as dead ashes.
Sayen Shaku

To set up what you like against what you don't like -- this is the disease of the mind.

No yesterday, no tomorrow, and no today.

Don't seek reality, just put an end to opinions. 

When you get there, there isn't any there there.
Gertrude Stein

Water which is too pure has no fish.
Ts'ai Ken T'an

Nothing is exactly as it seems, nor is it otherwise.
Alan Watts

Let the dead bury the dead.
Western Koan

What does mysticism mean? It means the way to attain knowledge. It's close to philosophy, except in philosophy you go horizontally while in mysticism you go vertically.
Elie Wiesel

Ten thousand flowers in spring
the moon in autumn,
a cool breeze in summer,
snow in winter.
If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things,
this is the best season of your life.

Since it is all too clear
It takes time to grasp it.
When you understand that it's foolish to look for fire with fire,
The meal is already cooked.

25 October 2008

This is not the Buddha, this is the Buddha

The instant you speak about a thing, you miss the mark.

If you're attached to anything, you surely will go far astray.

Only the crystal-clear question yields a transparent answer.

All of the significant battles are waged within the self.

Life is the only thing worth living for.

Better to sit all night than to go to bed with a dragon.

Live every day like your hair was on fire.

If you understand, things are just as they are; if you do not understand, things are just as they are.

When you get to the top of the mountain, keep climbing.

The mind should be as a mirror.

There is nothing infinite apart from finite things.

Everyday life is the way.

Great Faith. Great Doubt. Great Effort. - The three qualities necessary for training.

If you do not get it from yourself, Where will you go for it?

Do not permit the events of your daily life to bind you, but never withdraw yourself from them.

Where there is great doubt, there will be great awakening; small doubt, small awakening, no doubt, no awakening.

Sitting peacefully doing nothing Spring comes and the grass grows all by itself.

Everything the same; everything distinct.

Lovely snowflakes, they fall nowhere else!

Chop wood, carry water.

Possessing much knowledge is like having a thousand foot fishing line with a hook, but the fish is always an inch beyond the hook.

A noble heart never forces itself forward. Its words are as rare gems, seldom displayed and of great value.

If you meet on the way a man who knows, Don't speak a word -- Don't keep silent!

Even a good thing isn't as good as nothing.

This is not the Buddha, this is the Buddha.

One moon shows in every pool, in every pool the one moon.

14 October 2008

True story from the life and studies of Hiravi

It has been told, that during the reign of Sultan Mahmud of Ghazna, there lived a certain Haidar Ali Jan. His father, Iskandar Khan, wanted to gain the patronage of the Sultan, so he sent Haidar Ali away to study spirituality under the guidance of a well known sage.

After Haidar Ali had mastered various exercises and spiritual recitals, taught in the Sufi schools, his father took him before Sultan Mahmud.

"Mighty Sultan Mahmud," said Iskandar Khan, "I have had my eldest and most intelligent son specially trained in the ways of the Sufi, so that he might be given a good position in your court, knowing that you are a patron of learning!"

Sultan Mahmud did not look up, but just said, "Bring him back in a year!"

Slightly disappointed, but maintaining high hopes, Iskandar Khan sent Haidar Ali to study the works of the great Sufis of the past and to visit the shrines of the ancient masters, so that he would be better prepared the following year.

The next year, when he took Haidar Ali back to Sultan Mahmud's court, he said, "Your Majesty, my son has covered long and difficult journeys and is now more knowledgeable in Sufi history and classical spiritual exercises. Please have him tested, so it can be proven that he will be a wonderful asset to your court."

"Let him," said Sultan Mahmud without hesitation, "return after another year!"

Over the next twelve months, Haidar Ali crossed the Amu Darya river and visited Bukhara and Samarqand, Qasr-i-Arifin and Tashkent, Dushambe and the turbats of the Sufi saints of Turkestan.

When he returned to the court, Sultan Mahmud of Ghazna took one look at him and said, "He may care to come back after a year!"

Haidar Ali made the pilgrimage to Mecca that year. He then traveled to India and in Persia he consulted rare books and never missed an opportunity to seek out and pay his respects to the great dervishes of the time.

When he returned to Ghazna, Sultan Mahmud said to him, "Now select a sheikh (teacher) if he will have you, and come back in a year!"

Another year was over and Iskandar Khan prepared to take his son to the court, however, this time Haidar Ali showed no interest in going before the Sultan. He sat at the feet of his sheikh in Herat and nothing that his father could say would move him.

"I have wasted my time and money, and my son has failed the tests imposed by Sultan Mahmud," Iskandar Khan cried to his family and friends. He decided to abandoned his great plans for Haidar Ali and left him alone with his sheikh.

The day preset day for Haidar Ali to present himself at the court came and went. Sultan Mahmud said to his courtiers, "Prepare for a journey to Herat, for there is someone in that city I have to meet."

When Sultan Mahmud's entourage entered Herat to the sound of drums and trumpets, Haidar Ali and his sheikh were sitting in a garden sanctuary near by. Sultan Mahmud and his courtier Ayaz, approached the sanctuary and took off their shoes in respect.

"Welcome, Sultan Mahmud," said the Sufi sheikh, and he pointed to Haidar Ali and said, "Here is the man who was nothing while he was a visitor at your court, but now, he is worthy of a visit from a king. Take him as your Sufi counselor, for he is ready!"

Note: This is a true story from the life and studies of Hiravi also called, Haidar Ali Jan, the Sage of Herat!

Ascetic's Desires

A certain ascetic, Zarvand, decided to meditate in the Alborz Mountains with only a piece of cloth wrapped around him. Quickly he realized, that he needed another piece of cloth to wear while he washed the first, so he told the people in the village that he needed another piece of cloth. They knew he was a pious man, so they gave it to him. With his two pieces of cloth he once again ascended the Alborz Mountains.

Shortly after, he discovered that as he was meditating a mouse would try to drag his extra cloth away. He wanted to frighten the mouse away, but he could not keep leaving his meditation and prayers to run after the mouse. So, he descended to the village and asked the people for a cat.

After having taken the cat, he realized that it could not live on eating fruit alone. There were not enough mice for it to feed on and it needed milk. The people of the village knew the milk was not for him, because he did not care for anything, so they gave him some.

Soon the milk was finished and Zarvand became worried because he was now going up and down the mountain to the village for milk. To eliminate the problem of fetching milk, he took a little cow up the mountain, so it could provide milk for the cat.

He found himself milking the cow to care for the cat, then he thought, "There are so many poor people in the village. I will ask one of them to milk the cow for the cat's sake, and he can drink some milk daily also."

A poor villager who looked like he could use nourishes milk was brought up the mountain. After a few weeks of the mountain air and lots of good milk he became healthy. The man then told Zarvand, "I would like a companion and to raise a family."

Zarvand thought to himself, "He is quite right, I cannot deprive him of companionship." To cut short what could be a very long story, after two months the whole village moved up the mountain.

Note: Interesting how the need for one thing leads to the need for another and another. Ultimately, the ascetic had indirect desires. It is an old Persian tale.

11 October 2008


No wonder "you" cannot see this : This is a freedom that a "person" will never see. 

How could a "person" ever accept that everything happens spontaneously, of its own accord, in the absence of the person

The Tao (or Oneness, or God, or Life, or Spirit, or Emptiness…) has no centre, no mind, no personal volition. It appears as everything, but itself is nothing. Nothing manifesting as a world, as everything there is and is not. And there is only the Tao, which is to say there is no Tao at all.

And even to speak of it, even to think of it, even to do that is to lose it forever. 

And yet the thinking and the speaking are fully the Tao; there is nothing that it is not. 

It is the no-thing by which everything appears. And it’s not even that, because it’s not an “it” at all.

When speaking of the Tao, silence is the only way…


Yes, only the Tao, only Oneness, only One without a second, appearing as a “world”, endlessly, continuously, without beginning or end.

The “mind” could never see this. How blind it is to all this, and yet howperfectly blind it is, how it couldn’t be otherwise!

This world is a perfect world, perfect in its apparent imperfection, extraordinary in its ordinariness, Divine in its perfectly acceptable and appropriate and inevitable search for “something more”.

In the absence of the person, in the absence of the world “out there”, everything is. And that’s the miracle that will never be spoken of. These words hint at the miracle, but will only ever hint. Pointers will only ever point. 

The futility of trying to communicate the incommunicable is at once comical and utterly Divine, as it is. It couldn’t be otherwise.


Everywhere you go, people believing they are separate from each other, arguing, wanting to be right, wanting to know.

How to communicate to them that nobody is speaking? That there is only noise, and nobody doing it?

No, there is no way.

The silence is always apparently ignored. Because what is silence to a person? What use is it?

No use, of course. To a person, only noise is of any value at all. Hence separation, hence suffering, hence the human condition.

But Forgive them Father, because the silence is All, and All is the Silence. And even the noise arises in the Silence of all Silences, and so there is nothing to forgive, nothing at all.

But how could a person ever see this? A person is nothing but noise, nothing but an attempt to fill the silence, to avoid it, to resist the Nothingness at the heart of all phenomena.

Because to a person, silence is death.

And yet, what the person cannot see is that he has no existence at alloutside of the silence. Without the silence, he is nothing. No thing at all. And so the person is really always at war with the ground of existence itself.

And it never ends. Computing, competing, the mind searching for something it can never really have. Until it all ends, that is.

But never mind. Searching is all a separate person can do, because a separate person believes they have lost something. Forgive them Father, they have no choice, no choice at all.


And really there are no “people” in the first place. No people separate from the silence. The mind itself has created “silence and noise”, created them and separated them, separated them and kept them apart, never to be reconciled.

But in the absence of the person, in the space where  a person once was, the noise never began, and the silence never ended, and there is no death.

No death, no life, just this, beyond all knowing and all knowledge and all words and concepts, beyond all beyonds.

And nobody here to know all this. Nobody writing it. Pen moves over paper. No volition, no control, no centre.

No idea what the pen will say next. God Himself writes, Spirit writes, the Buddha writes, Life Itself writes, and yet Nobody writes at all.

What freedom in this – a freedom that isn’t really a freedom at all, because there was never any bondage to be free from!

When the person is no more, when the search is undone, when the demand for life to be anything other than what it is collapses, the noise and silence, the freedom and bondage, the Yin and the Yang are all seen to be illusory, simply the mind’s attempt to cut the world up into manageable little pieces, and the truth is revealed: there is only the whole.

And that “When” is now, and there is no other time, and the whole spiritual search will only ever be a cosmic entertainment.


By Jeff Foster


Life is a singular movement. Sometimes loud, sometimes violent, sometimes ferocious. Sometimes sweet, sometimes soft, sometimes as gentle as a feather. Sometimes life roars, sometimes it whispers… but it always moves. And yet at the heart of that movement, there is no origin, no point of reference, no centre… no ‘heart’ at all, if truth be told. And truth can never be told.


Words such as these attempt to tell the truth that cannot be told, and yet the words themselves are but another part of that infinite movement, that inexpressible aliveness that fuels all things, moves all things, is all things in their totality. Life is a movement, and its origin is movement. Its origin is itself.


Life has no centre because it has no circumference. There’s nowhere where it ends, nowhere where it begins. It is simply a spontaneous expression of aliveness, happening now, now and now, leaving no trace of itself, projecting nothing into the future, concealing nothing, giving itself totally and completely and exhausting itself in that expression, leaving no residue. It is all things, and yet it is no thing.


Life – or what we call ‘life’, anyway, is totally beyond mind, too alive for mind, too free for mind, too total for it, and that total and complete expression, which we are no way separate from, happens constantly. Life throws itself out of itself again and again to create the illusion of a world, to give us this wonderful dream of waking life. And yet of course, life ‘does’ nothing at all. There are no separate events, people, places, and so nothing separate from anything else has ever been done. From the Big Bang, and before that, there has only been one happening, and it is happening now. No happening separate from any other happening, although the illusion is a good one. And the illusion is what we might call “me”.


I’m standing near the sea. A storm rages. The wind nearly knocks me off my feet. Waves crash onto a jetty. The roar is deafening. Seagulls struggle to fly in the gale.


And yet the wind is not separate from me. The sea, the jetty, the seagulls are not separate from what I am. In fact, I cannot even say that. All I can say is that, presently, life, Oneness, aliveness, Being – call it what you want – appears as the sea, the jetty, the wind, the seagulls, and this body as it stands there in the gale. It is all a present appearance, appearing for no-one. It exists only to be itself, and for no other reason. Nothing exists apart from it, nothing that could ever be known, anyway. This is how the Source appears now. This is the movie playing out presently. This is the dream, and it is total, and it is complete, and it needs nothing else. Life has already accomplished what it set out to do.


I am one with it, I am separate from it, I am something, I am nothing, I see it, it is seen by no-one. All just words. Life needs no more words. Its words are already the crashing of the waves against the beach, the foam building up along the shore, the screech of the seagulls, the deafening roar of the wind blasting my eardrums. Its words are already being spoken, and life doesn’t need anyone to speak for it, especially not me. The words of life are being shouted, screamed. They deafen me. I am annihilated by them.


And not just here, in this storm, but everywhere, all the time. In the quietest moments, and in the loudest moments, life speaks. And the quiet moments and loud moments are both perfect expressions. It’s all One Taste, all the taste of life itself, living itself as it must. “Jeff” is just a relic from the past. “Jeff” is a fossil. Who needs the past? What good did it ever do? Who needs the future? It never arrives anyway. Nothing at all can begin to touch the wonder of this. Of this moment, this present expression of life.


Like newborn babies, we always see it for the first time. The sea roars for the first time. The seagull screeches for the first time. Back inside my room, where it’s warm and cosy, I sip a cup of tea for the first time. Nobody could tell me otherwise.


This needs no defending. It does not need to be proved, to be argued. It is its own defence, it is its own proof. Nobody can argue with the isness. Well, they can actually. And they do. And that’s the misery of a lifetime.


But when that argument ends, what is is always enough. More than enough.


Life is an offering, and it offers itself now, now and now. It offers present sights, sounds, smells and feelings and asks nothing of you. And yet we spend our lives wanting so much more. Well, that is our misery. In the absence of that, there is only this, as there always has been. Only ever what presents itself now. Only what emerges presently from the Source, only what manifests out of the Unknown, you get only that and nothing more.


And right there, it is all released. The burden of a lifetime, gone in the blink of an eye. This “Jeff” character who suffered and suffered, and sought a way out of his suffering, where is he? He’s simply not there. Who is typing these words then? Is Jeff typing these words, you may ask? There is only that question. No answer rises up to meet it, and so the question dies away, dissolving back into the Source.


This awakening, it has nothing at all to do with you. If you think that “you” can get awakened, you’ll be chasing your own tail for the rest of your life. You cannot awaken, because this is already fully awake. Already whole, already complete, and it’s only in the dream of separation that the search appears to have any validity at all. But in the falling away of the seeking, the miracle is revealed. And the miracle is life itself, and life itself has always been the miracle. We just couldn’t see it, because we were too busy trying to be someone, trying to become something, trying to be good, trying to understand, trying to succeed… or even trying not to try.


But in the clear seeing of this miracle, all of that is rendered obsolete. In the seeing that there is only this, in the shockingly simple and simply shocking waking up from the dream of separation, there is a death, and that death, as Jesus said, is the only salvation. You have to lose your life to save it. And so when there is no-one, there isn’t an empty void, a lonely and joyless black space devoid of all qualities… no, no, no. That void is full, it is bursting with life. With the sea roaring, and seagulls screeching, and the wind crashing against your face, and a steaming mug of tea, and… life, damn it, life! The emptiness is fullness, the void is fully alive, the nothingness is life in all its magnificence, and that is the freedom that the so-called ‘individual’ could never, ever find.


And in that, all the concepts in the world dissolve. They are seen to be what they always were: words, just words. And beyond those words, the foam from the crashing waves fascinates me more than anything in the world, and those seagulls are as precious as my very own children, and the wind is simply life caressing me, and there is a fragile beauty here that words could never touch at all. It’s a wordless, bittersweet, tender love affair with life, a life that’s given now, freely, to be seen, just to be seen.


This awakening, this love, this tenderness, this innocence will never be put into words, never communicated, never captured, and yet it is all there is, forever appearing everywhere, always being everything, always rejecting nothing, embracing you – or what you take yourself to be – in every single damn moment.


Life itself is the only miracle. There is no other. The secret of spiritual awakening has always been staring you in the face.

By Jeff Foster

Two Different Dream Worlds

By Robert Adams

Om, shanti, shanti, shanti, Om, peace. Good evening. Greetings. It is good to be with you again. I welcome you with all my heart.

Last Sunday we were discussing the telephone calls I 'received in reference to voting. People call me with strange questions. Do Jnani's vote? Should I vote if I’m a Jnani? And my answer is usually the same to everybody, which was, as long as you ask the question, you should vote. As long as you inquire if you should or you shouldn't, then you're part of the system and you should.

After the election I continued to receive phone calls. One person asked me an interesting question. He called from Dusseldorf, Germany. Is there such a place as Dusseldorf? I asked him where he got my phone number. He said, "Ramana Ashram." I didn't realize they had my phone number. But anyway he asked me a pretty intelligent question, to an extent. He said, "Robert, if everything is a dream, why should we vote, or do anything, if it's all a dream?" We'll discuss this today.

We see that life is a dream. Everything is a dream. The world is unreal. Why should you do anything? The reason of course is you are involved in the dream. You are part of the dream. As long as you are part of the dream, you have to do what has to be done in this world of the ream, for you believe you are the body, the mind. Therefore you cannot fool yourself and imagine that you're somewhere else, when you're not. You come under the law of cause and effect. You come under the laws of karma. As long as you believe in this world, there is karma for you, there is cause and effect. You cannot say in one breath that there is no karma and no cause and effect, and then react to the world. You know whether or not you believe the world is real, by the way you react to it, consistently, constantly, how the world makes you feel. This shows you whether you believe the world is real or not.

When you think of your body all the time, when you respond to the world all the time, then you must do the things of this world. Remember the cliché, "Do unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s. And do unto God, that which is God's." Where do you belong? In the world or in heaven? You can tell by the way you react to life, by the way the world makes you feel, by the way you respond to your body. Yet it's all a dream, but you're caught up in the dream.

As an example, when you go to sleep and you're having a dream, you dream that thieves break into your home and shoot all of your family. Then you wake up. When you wake up, do you go looking for the people who shot your family? It was a dream and you laugh. But you forget you're living in another dream, which is this world, which is the mortal dream.

Do not connect both worlds. They're both two different states of consciousness. They're two different dreams. Yet when you're in your dream world, dreaming, when you go to sleep at night, you're doing all sorts of things in that dream, aren't you? You're acting and reacting, doing all kinds of things in that dream. Do you ever in a dream say, "This is a dream, and I'm not going to react to this world?" You don't. You continue doing things in your dream. That's how it is in this world also.

Most of us are stuck in a dream world. We're stuck in a dream world because it presses down on us. It appears so real. Things are happening every day. Yet, one day you will awaken. It’s the same as awakening from your dream at night. There is no difference. When you awaken to the dream at night, do you have any interest in the dream? You may for a while. If you're into dreams, you may try to decipher what the dream means, for a little bit. But after a while you forget all about the dream. So it is with this world. When a person awakens, or a person becomes liberated, they are able to see the dream, but they know they are not part of it. They merely observe everything, but they are not part of the dream. The world no longer has any power over them, over the awakened person, the liberated person. The world has no power whatsoever over you once you’re liberated.

This is the way you should think of it. Just as a dream that you were dreaming at night, you awaken and forget all about it, so when you awaken here, you forget all about this world also. Yet you're in a body, so it appears. As long as you're in a body, you'll see other bodies. You will see the world as everybody else sees the world. But you're a 100% sure that this is not a world of reality. You know this. You continue functioning in this world, but yet you are not doing anything.

To the Jnani there is no action being taken whatsoever. To the ajnani there is action being taken. And the ajnani sees the Jnani taking action also. But yet, to the Jnani, nothing is happening, nothing is going on, there’s no world, there’s no dream, there’s no karma, there’s no cause and effect.

When I tell you that cause and effect and karma do not exist, you have to be real careful with yourself. Do not take this as a license to do anything you like. Remember again, and I'll remind you again, and again, and again, as long as you are involved in this world and you believe the world to be real, then karma is also real. It's as real as the world, as real as your body. As you sow, so shall you reap. You have to deal with this. What you do to others, you are doing to yourself. You hurt someone, you hurt yourself. You love someone, you love yourself.

It's nice for me to come here and tell you that everything is absolute reality, everything is nirvana, sat-chit-ananda, pure awareness, pure intelligence. This is the ultimate truth. But how many of us are living from this standpoint? We have to work from where we are. The worst thing you can do is to fool yourself, and make believe you can get away with something. In this world you can't get away with anything. The lord of karma is always watching. You always get back what you put out. Nothing more, nothing less. This is what I mean when I tell you everything is in the right, place, unfolding the way it should, all is well, there’s absolutely nothing to be concerned about. But if you go around making a fool of yourself, by causing problems to other people, having all kinds of attitudes, anger, jealousy, fear, whatever, these are emotions that you're putting out in the karmic world, and the karmic world has to return to you what you put out.

So this is a dream world. Yes, this is all a dream. You are the dreamer, but you haven't discovered this for yourself. This is a very important point to remember. You have to awaken, become free. You cannot imagine that you're free, because you hear Advaita Vedanta lectures. You cannot imagine that you're free, if you feel yourself suffering somehow. If you feel hurt, or frustrated, disillusioned, or depressed, how can you possibly be free?

When you are free, you have unalloyed happiness all the time. Eternal happiness and eternal joy is always with you, regardless of conditions. For you are no longer conditioned. You are no longer looking for anything. Does it make sense for a enlightened person to look for a healthy body, or for a prosperous body, or for this or for that? Of course not. This is the fact that nobody’s left to look for these things. The ego who does this has been totally transcended.

Look at the world like bubbles on the ocean, bubbles and waves on the ocean. Look at people that way too. They keep disappearing. They keep coming back. The bubbles, the eddies, the waves come and go continuously, constantly. Yet the ocean understands that the bubbles, the eddies, the waves, are part of the ocean. They’re not separate from the ocean. Yet the bubbles come and go. The waves come and go. So it is with us. Bodies come and go continuously, constantly. You make such a fuss out of life, out of a body that's so important. They come and go like bubbles in the ocean. New bodies appear every day, old ones fade away, yet the source, beyond everything, is consciousness. The substratum of all existence is consciousness. Consciousness is like the ocean, and all the forms on this earth, in the universe, are superimpositions on consciousness. In other words, all the forms are like bubbles and waves on the ocean.

When you discover who you are, you’re no longer a bubble or a wave. You no longer come and go. You become the ocean. The average person as well believes they are a bubble or a wave. They identify only with their little self. They’re always thinking about themselves. "I need, I want, I hurt, I this, I that, I everything." It's. Always I, I, I. This is how the bubble thinks, that it’s separate from the ocean. But the ocean knows it’s not separate.

And so the infinite lies waiting in sweet repose for you to understand who you are. In other words, the ocean, consciousness, is not going to do anything to make you understand who you are, for consciousness is already your self. But somehow you've been hypnotized, mesmerized, deluded, into believing that you are a separate entity, a separate body, and you have to fetch for yourself, care for yourself. While the bubble persists, it is well taken care of by the ocean. While the wave persists, the ocean looks after it. That's why waves become big sometimes, they become tidal waves. They're still part of the ocean.

As you persist in believing that you're human, believing that you are a body, that you are separate, you are still looked after and protected. You may still suffer and go through experiences, because you think you're the body or the mind, but nevertheless you are always protected and looked after.

In any case you don't have to worry. In any case you don't have to fear. Why? Because you live in eternity. You live in bliss. You live in total joy and happiness. You are immersed in consciousness, like space. Space is immersed in consciousness. And all the forms, like planets, galaxies, universes, are superimpositions in space. And what holds space together? Consciousness.

You do not have to do anything to understand this. You simply have to recognize it. You do not have to pray, or meditate, or do mantras or japa. There is nothing you have to do to recognize your reality, to the ocean, to consciousness. You simply have to see it, and recognize it, and awaken. That's all you have to do.

Why is it so hard for most people? Because you've been attached totally, solidly, to maya, to ignorance, to the belief in two powers, belief in separation. You feel in your ego that you're separate from the self, you're separate from your source. This is the only reason that you suffer. If you knew who you were, it would be virtually impossible for you to suffer in any way. But this is where it becomes paradoxical. For again you may appear to be going through some experiences, yet the enlightened one knows they’re not going through anything. This is why when the disciples saw Jesus hanging on the cross, they thought he was suffering. But Jesus, the Christ, never suffered. Yet Jesus, the man, appeared to be suffering, by all of his disciples, by the Roman guards.

We're seeing two different worlds. We're seeing the world of the Jnani, or the world of the sage, or the world of the enlightened one, that is pure bliss, absolute reality, pure awareness, pure intelligence, I am that I am, ultimate reality. This is a world the sage lives in all the time, and nothing has ever happened to the sage. Nothing can ever happen to the sage, due to the fact that the sage has become eternity. The sage is omnipresence, all-pervading. Yet when the average person looks at Ramakrishna or Ramana Maharshi, and others that seem to have died a horrible death from cancer, they say and they cry, "Why does this person have to suffer so much? They were so good. They were so kind. I can't understand this. If there’s any universal justice, why does this person have to suffer?"

Who sees the suffering? Only the deluded one, the one who is deluded, the ignorant one. They see through the senses. They see through the eyes, hear with the ears, speak through the mouth, taste the agony, smell the blood, whatever is going on. The sense are getting to you as a human being. Because you believe you're human you have senses to make you human. But we know now you can transcend those senses, totally and completely, and be in another world completely and totally. You can transcend the senses and be totally free of them, totally, absolutely, and be in a completely different world. And so there is a body that appears to be going through experiences, but only to the person who sees through the senses.

So to get back to the dream world, in the dream world, when you go to sleep at night, you go through many, many experiences, do many things, you may appear to be killed, you may appear to become a king or a queen, you may appear to have many children, a beautiful home. Or you may appear to be unemployed, a homeless person. Yet when you awaken from that dream, you'll laugh to yourself and say, "Well thank God it was only a dream," and you forget about it.

This mortal dream world that you're in right now, you must also forget about, and not identify with it. This is the way you become free. This is the way you awaken. This doesn't mean that you will do nothing. It means you will do whatever you're supposed to do, but in your mind you will be doing absolutely nothing.

You have to ask yourself the question, "Do I really want to become free and liberated in this life? Think how many more years you've got left. You never know, you may be called away tomorrow, this very minute, in a year, in a month, ten years, a week. Who knows? Therefore you should continuously be thinking of these things we're talking about. They should be first in your life. What you give your energy to, you become. What you believe in, you become. What you think about most of the time, you become.

That's the important one, what you think about most of the time. Most of us are continuously thinking somebody is trying to hurt us, somebody doesn't like us, somebody is mean to us, something is wrong someplace. As long as you think this way, you are telling the lord of karma, this is what I really want. In other words you’re inadvertently bringing doom and gloom upon yourself, for if you think doom and gloom all day long, you'll attract more of the same continuously, constantly. You therefore should understand this and begin to let go of all your emotions.

One of the best ways to let go of your emotions is by practicing self-inquiry. I know some of you have got tired of practicing this. Some of you believe nothing is happening, but all the same make it a habit. Think of the many habits you have now, destructive habits. Habits that do not help you whatsoever in your unfoldment to the self. But yet you do these things without thinking, the destructive habits. Develop a good habit, like practicing self-inquiry. Do not look for results. Do not look for anything to happen. Just do it.

Ask yourself, "Who feels depressed? Who feels human? Who feels there’s something wrong someplace? Who feels this illusion? To whom do these things come?" And of course you answer, "I do. I am feeling all these things." As soon as you say this to yourself, realize that the I is separate from you. The I who feels all this is not you. For if the I were you, you wouldn't use it all the time like you do. You wouldn't say, "I am this," and, "I am that." This shows you there’s an I and there’s a you. You say, "I am this, I am that, I feel sick, I feel discouraged, I feel depressed."

If you were really talking about your real self, you wouldn't say that. But if you are talking about your body, you wouldn't even say that. For if you were talking about your body, you would say "'sick, depressed, unhappy," you wouldn't say, "I." This shows you that you are not referring to your body when you say, "I." What appears to be your body is just an inanimate piece of flesh. You're a piece of meat. So you are. Yet when consciousness goes through it, it becomes animated. It begins to dance. It begins to jump. It begins to do all kinds of things. But of itself it can do nothing.

What I'm getting at is this: How can the body that is really a piece of flesh by itself, become sick or depressed or discouraged, or have any problem? It cannot. You give life to these things by saying, "I feel this." When you add I to the body, or to the piece of flesh, then it becomes alive also, in a negative way. But when you begin to understand that I is not you, I has never been you, this is the beginning of wisdom. When you just understand this continuously, keep carrying it through day, after day, after day, keep reminding yourself constantly, "I is not me." Of course don't let anybody hear you saying that. They'll call the men with the white coats and take you away, to the happy farm.

Realize to yourself, "I is not Me." I is something by itself, and it doesn't exist, some form of hypnosis, some delusion, called an optical illusion, that makes me believe I am I. When you get that far, you can further inquire, "Then where did this I come from? If the I is not me, why do I keep saying I, I, referring to myself? Where did this I come from? What is the source of the I?" Everything has a source.

Just by thinking this way, you're thinking about God. People always ask me, "How shall I think about God? You always tell us Robert, to concentrate on God and forget about the world. How shall I think about God? Say anything about God?" By realizing the source is not I. Who am I? If I is not the source, what is the source of I? That's all you have to say. Don't go any further.

This is when you become still and allow the power that knows the way to work, through you. As you become still, the mind will begin to think again. And you go through the same procedure again, and again and again. "To whom do these feelings and thoughts come? They come to me. I feel these things. I feel funny. I feel depressed. I feel bad. Well, what is the source of this I? Where does it come from?" And again you keep still.

This is the simple practice of self-inquiry. It will become a habit if you keep doing it. So don't think that nothing is happening. Something is happening to you when you do this, even for the first time, but it's very subtle.

Forget about time. Forget about yourself. Become universal. Realize that your body is the body of the universe.

All things emanate out of your mind. The whole universe emanates out of your mind. Think of these things every day. Be aware of these thing every day. Catch yourself. Day, after day, after day, catch yourself, and think along the lines we’ve discussed tonight. When you can do this, something will happen to you, something wonderful. I can assure you of this. A benevolent power will take over and bring you to your true home, which is absolute reality and total happiness and Peace