Aja Blog - September 05


Aja-Blog September 2005                          

Welcome to Aja's online blog - an ongoing expression of what is arising in Aja's consciousness... random writings, musings, and more on the nature of consciousness, awakening, reality, non-reality, stupidity....

Each entry is chronologically dated with the most recent first and older stuff later.  Feel free to start wherever you want.  If you have questions or comments, you can email them to atma@atmainstitute.org

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Monday  September 19, 2005

Why Are You Reading This?

The answer to that question, for probably 99% of you, is that you want things to be different; you assume that you are not enlightened and that you want to be enlightened; that you are bound and want to be free? Always dualities!

The whole idea of 'This Moment' is that there is nothing wrong right now. The key word is acceptance. Let me quote a few old friends:

Ramana Maharshi says - The only thing standing in the way of enlightenment is the thought, 'I am not enlightened.'

Nisargadatta Maharaj says - The problem is you want what you don't have and don't want what you do have. All you need to do is switch that around and want what you do have and don't want what you don't have.

And Ashtavakra Samita says - If you consider yourself free, you're free; and if you consider yourself bound, you're bound. The saying, 'As you consider, so you become,' is true in this world.

So what is wrong with this moment, and with you as you are? If you ask yourself this question, probably a whole mess of answers will arise that tell you what is wrong with you. But these answers, these 'wrongnesses' are only in the mind; they are only thoughts. If the thoughts were not there, not given any credence, not believed, then guess what - nothing would be wrong. So then, the mind asks, 'How do I stop or still the mind, or these thoughts?' 

Answer: You don't have to. They also are simply arising in the sphere of awareness. What do you do about the clouds passing by? What do you do about that little twinge of pain in your big toe? What do you do when any insignificant event occurs? Nothing. You recognize it, or witness it, or notice it, and everything continues. That's it.

But then you say, 'Well, what about the big stuff?'  What big stuff?  It's like that book title, "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff & It's All Small Stuff."  What do you do when you have to take a pee? You go take a pee. What do you do when you are hungry? You go eat. What do you do if you're dying of some horrible disease? You go to a doctor, and/or you die. What do you do about the starving children in (place city/country here)? You give money, you fly there, you join a group, or do nothing. Whatever seems to be the proper answer for you. A million things arise - some of them appear 'good' and some appear 'bad.' But that's a little bit like some appear 'red' and some appear 'green.' They are all just things arising/happening in Awareness. You, the 'big You' are that Awareness, already free, already peaceful, already infinite. You don't need to do anything, or get rid of anything to be who and what you are. You need only let go of the thoughts, 'I am not happy, I am not free, I am not peaceful." And the rest is already and always there!


Friday  September 16, 2005

The Way We Were

One of the benefits of knowing (or playing with) Sanskrit, is the wealth of beautiful and profound writings that are available there. Around the time I met my Sanskrit teacher, he taught me one of the most beautiful verses I have ever heard, and it still deeply affects me every time I think of it:

Yuyam vayam vayam yuyam         (You are we...We are you)

Ityasin matir avayoh                        (Thus was the mind of us)

Kim jatam adhuna yena                   (What has happened now by which)

Yuyam yuyam vayam vayam            (You are you and we are we)

"You are we and we are you; this was our mutually shared understanding and vision. What has happened now, though, by which we are separate and you are you and I am I?"

We are all one. This is not a theoretical proposition, but a reality, and many believe that this was much more commonly understood at one time, and may still be among certain groups. It may also be the direction that we are moving toward again. As one awakens to truth, this recognition becomes more and more clear, and subsequently a certain amount of pain is actually felt that this isn't the commonly perceived reality. It is this individualized mind/ego, this divisiveness that causes all the suffering, and the heart aches to see it. Fortunately, there is also a certain amount of detachment as well. But it is this aspect of awakening that initiates the compassionate need of those who teach. Unlike many others, teaching, for those who have reached a certain level of awakening, is not from ego, not from mind, but from the level of experiencing the suffering caused by this divisiveness, and feeling a need to assist others. Not all people who awaken experience this, but in our own case, and many other teachers I know, this becomes achingly clear.

Each time I sing this verse (which has a beautiful melody), the heart opens a little more. Some may argue that this isn't very Advaitic, but that's okay. Feel it anyway. The heart is one as well, and the more we experience that, the more everyone will come into this pure non-duality which includes not only the Being (sat) or the Awareness (cit), but the Bliss and Sweetness (ananda) as well.



Wednesday  September 7, 2005

Just Do It!

In the Neo-advaitic circles, it is popular to talk about 'choicelessness' or  that there is no choice. This may be the recognition that arises ultimately - that there is no choice, and that it appears that everything is pre-determined...every motion, every thought, every everything. However, that leaves one in something of a dilemma. It leaves them, often, like a spineless jellyfish, flopping around and unable to do anything. Even if it is the realization in the end, that when you get to the end of the road, you realize that the road didn't really go anywhere, and that you were always That, and that everything ends up exactly where you are now....still, there is one big difference: Virtually everyone who ends up 'there,' worked their ass off to get there. Find that awakened person who, on some level, didn't sit for years, inquire for years, meditate for years, or even just sat at the feet of some awakened teacher, or did something where their intention and their mind was focused on awakening.

The Yoga Vasishtha says that there are two karmas or actions - that from the past and that from the present, and that the second is more powerful than the first. In other words, no matter what your present circumstances are (due to the accumulation of past actions or karmas) they can be overcome by your present actions. Yes, it takes a great amount of will, or intention, or effort - because essentially you are breaking through your patterns, your gunas, your conditioning, but only you can do it. Ramana Maharshi says, "Effortless & choiceless awareness is our real nature. If we can attain that state and abide in it, that is all right. But one cannot reach it without effort, the effort of deliberate meditation. All the age old vasanas (inherent tendencies) turn the mind outward to external objects. All such thoughts have to be given up and the mind turned inwards and that, for most people, requires effort." So it appears to be a paradox: Choiceless awareness is our real nature, and yet, to get there requires effort. Nothing is achieved without effort, and every heart warming, inspiration story tells us of someone who achieved great things through effort, sometimes almost superhuman effort.

The bottom line is that if you don't like the way things are going, make an effort to change it. It may or may not work, as the outcome may also be predetermined, but it sure isn't going to change if something (i.e. you) don't change. The old definition of insanity is 'doing the same thing and expecting different results.' So in what ways are you insane, doing the same things, bitching about them, and expecting something to be different? If you want to wake up, struggle to wake up. If you want anything to be different, then the idea is arising to change. Do it! That is what is arising. Go with that flow to change. Don't hold on to old patterns, or allow yourself to remain stagnant. Go, open, move, flow, surrender, expand, explode. Do something! Just do it!


Friday  September 2, 2005

There Is No Goal-Line

Ego (mind) wants to achieve. Particularly in the West, there is an idea of achievement - that when I have attained 'this or that' I will have 'gotten there!'  The recognition of truth has become such an achievement. It is the ego, mind, identification which wants to 'achieve' enlightenment - to be 'There', to be 'done'. But, there is no such thing. There is no 'Done' or ultimate end. There is movement and non-movement. There is the Absolute (or whatever you want to call it) in both stillness and movement. There is deeper recognition and there is dis-identifying with the limited. We may or may not exist as localized individuality. Most people identify as being localized persons. Some of us less so or not at all. (Yes, I am aware of the inherent problems in languaging all this.) But there is no great goal-line. People have made enlightenment or awakening as the final big achievement, as in 'When I get there, I will be done, and have achieved the ultimate!'

Bull-Puckey! Yes, the big questions are done; there is minimal internal conflict; there is a recognition of pure, non-dual awareness and that That is what one is. But it's also like flowing down the river and into the Sea. The limitation has stopped, but not necessarily the flowing. It's like somebody spend their life wanting to go to India. They travel by train, plane and automobile, working hard, suffering and enjoying the trials and tribulations of the journey, get to the border where the border guard stamps their passport and then, "Wow! I made it. I'm in India. I'm THERE!" And their journey stops. They haven't seen a single beggar, temple, sadhu, or open sewer system. They haven't smelled the ghee, chai, incense, burning plastic, or the shit. They haven't tasted a single samosa, idli, or lassi. But they 'got there.'

Enlightenment is not the end-zone; it's the beginning-zone. It is the doorway into the Real. It is the recognition of Consciousness and beyond. But it is also a natural process of the evolution of the Awakening Field of Consciousness which is what the All is. When you reach puberty, you don't say, "I made it," and stop. Life goes on. When you reach menopause, you don't say "I made it," and stop. Life goes on. When you wake up to Self as Infinite Being...well, yes, part of the old you stops, but Life doesn't; existence doesn't. The show continues. You-ness goes on.

Part of the problems is that the very ideas of Enlightenment, Awakening, Nirvana and so forth create a limited concept. They create a whole new construct or belief system that the ego-I can strive to achieve, moving the box of limitations into a new realm.

My suggestion: Give up all the concepts of enlightenment. In a very real sense, there is no such thing. Have the underlying intention to move toward / Be / KNOW Truth; inquire into Truth and what the 'I' is, recognizing it's flimsiness and un-reality; and see what you hold onto to that isn't true. Fill yourself with this intention. Be this intention. Then let go of all other identifications. Fall into the Reality of What Is in the moment, and you will see that you have always been in the end-zone.

I also suggest you click on and read the 'About Aja' page which I have changed. I've tried to reflect his perspective there as well.


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